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INTRODUCTION. The effect produced upon the World and upon 
the Faithful by the summoning of the General Council General 
Councils, from their nature called together but seldom. They 
are signs of an unusual state of things. The Indiction of a 
Council a very solemn act on the part of the Vicar of Jesus 
Christ i 

CHAPTER I. What persons are commanded to attend the Council. 
The schismatic Bishops of the East invited to be present. 
Protestants invited to return to the Fold of Christ ... 8 

CHAPTER II. The Pope alone has authority to summon a General 
Council. He alone has authority to preside over it . . .11 

CHAPTER III. The Pontifical Power necessary for the existence 
of a Council. The order of precedence among the members. 
Proxies. Secular Princes. Councils summoned by the Pope by 
virtue of his supreme Jurisdiction . . . . . 14 

CHAPTER IV. False theories concerning the relation of a General 
Council to the Pope. A Council without the Pope does not bind 
the Church. Its jurisdiction derived from him ... 20 

CHAPTER V. General Councils unlike all other assemblies. 
The Pope not merely the president. He is supreme. Bishops 
not the delegates of the people, but the Pope's councillors . . 26 

CHAPTER VI. The desire for a Council long entertained by the 
Pontiff. The expectations therefrom formed by the late Cardinal 
Wiseman. The expressed desire of the Universal Episcopate 
Consecration of the Council to the Immaculate Mother of 
God. The Bull of Indiction 31 

CHAPTER VII. Visit of the Abate Carlo Testa to the Greek and 
Armenian Patriarchs. Freedom of action of the Greek Bishops 
at the Council of Florence. Dying testimony of John, Patriarch 
of Constantinople at that time. Subservience of the Greek 
Bishops to their Patriarch.- Their iiUile objections to the 
Council, These objections refuted. Two Bishops honourably 
distinguished from the rest. Despotism of the Patriarch. 
Humiliation inflicted upon him by the Ottoman Government. 
Proposed separation of Greek and Bulgarian Churches.- The 
Patriarch proposes to call a Council. Objections to this on the 
part of both Turks and Greeks. 58 

CHAPTER VIII. Sentiments of the Catholicos of Echmiadzin. 
Origin of his See and of its Title. Its lapse into Schism, pre- 
tensions to dominion, and jealousy of the Armenian Patriarchate. 
Apprehensions of the Catholicos with reference to the General 
Council. His attempt to establish a Nuncio at Constantinople, 
and refusal of the Ottoman Government. Proceedings of the 
Unionist and anti-Unionist party in the Armenian Church. 
Intimidation of the Patriarch and his resignation. Separation 
of the Bulgarians from the Greek Church and their contest wilh 
the Patriarch. Consequent disturbances. Reception of the 
Papal Letter by the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria . . 70 


CHAPTER IX. Benefits which may be anticipated from the 
Council in respect to the Schismatic bodies. Blindness of 
Catholic rulers to their true interests. Behaviour of the French 
Government. Its reservations in regard to the approaching 
Council. Dispositions of the French Episcopate. Desuetude 
of Canon Law in France. Its causes and inconveniences. The 
sentiments of liberal Catholics and of Catholics pure and simple. 
Feeling and attitude of the non-Catholic body. Aspirations 
and expectations of Catholics respecting dogmatic decisions . 84 

CHAPTER X. The Pope's conduct towards the Bishops of the 
Eastern Schism. Their condition. Necessity of their submis- 
sion to the Holy See ........ 97 

CHAPTER XI. Election of Gregory X. to the Pontificate, He 
invites the Emperor to the Council of Lyons. The Emperor 
professes the Roman faith. The opening of the Council. 
Sermon of S. Bonaventure. Arrival and submission of the 
Eastern Deputies. The Emperor (by proxy) and the Deputies 
abjure the Schism. Death of S. Thomas and of S. Bonaven- 
ture. Insincerity of the Easterns. Excommunication of 
Michael Palseologus . . . . . . . . 101 

CHAPTER XII. Present aspect of affairs. The great vice of the 
Oriental mind. Usurpation on the part of the Bishop of Con- 
stantinople. Eugenius IV. and the Council of Basle. Recep- 
tion of the Patriarch of Constantinople by the Pope. Meeting 
of the Council at Ferrara. Its adjournment to Florence. 
Meeting in separate Synods of the Latins and Greeks . . 108 

CHAPTER XIII. The Pope's Address to Protestants Differences 
between the Greeks and Protestants. Heretics never sum- 
moned to a Council. Conduct of the Protestant Princes when 
invited by Paul III. Impossibility of discussion between Ca- 
tholics and Heretics . 115 

CHAPTER XIV. Difference between the Motives of the Greeks 
at Florence and that of the Protestants at Trent. Instructions 
of Tulius III. touching the latter. Defined Doctrines cannot 
again be discussed. Therefore the Protestants abstained 
from the Council of Trent. End of that Council . . . 120 

CHAPTER XV. The Sovereign Pontiff the only possible Con- 
vener of a Council. His sanction necessary to its decrees. 
The Council not superior to the Pope.- Supposed case of a 
Pope dying during the Session ; the case of Antipopes. 
Council of Pisa. Conduct of the Cardinals. Mutual relations 
between the Pope and a Council. The Pope cannot be accused 
of Heresy. Prejudices of certain Canonists .... 125. 

CHAPTER XVI. The work of Gratian. The Canons " Anas- 
tasius" and " Si Papa." Worthlessness of the former and non- 
authority of the latter. Attempt of the Cardinals to call a 
Council. Its failure. The effect of opposition has been to 
make the Papal supremacy and infallibility more clear and certain 136 



Assembly of the General Council of the 
Vatican is the greatest and most pregnant 
event of the last three hundred years. It is naturally, 
therefore, filling men's minds whether they will it 
or no. 

The Church of God is a perfect kingdom, not of 
the world, but in it. It is a kingdom of souls, and has 
a divine mission to gather into itself the whole human 
race. It has a divine right to whatever is necessary 
for its perfect organization, and for the fulfilment of 
its divine mission. As there is no limit in point of 
time or place to its mission, so there is no exemption 
to the obedience due to its authority when once 

The General Council is the reunion in one place of 
the Apostolate dispersed throughout the world, under 
the authority and direction of its divinely appointed 
head, whose office is "to confirm his brethren," and 
whose "faith shall not fail." Human society can- 
not but be affected by the decisions of the Council. 
Gainsay it as scoffers and unbelievers may, mankind 
will be influenced by its decision. Individuals may have 
eyes and see not, and ears and hear not : but God 
Himself will solemnly speak to the world through the 
infallible decisions of the Council of His Church, and 

A I 


the Spirit of the Lord will fill the face of the earth as 
the waters cover the sea. 

There is much misconception as to the nature of a 
General Council. Subjects directly connected with 
it are ordinarily studied only by Theologians and 
Canonists. In the midst too of a Babel of tongues 
and newspapers in which we live circumstances atten- 
dant upon the Convocation of the Vatican Council 
have been continually reported inaccurately. The 
following pages, therefore, may be useful to all who 
desire correct and trustworthy information. They 
are reprinted chiefly from the Supplements on the 
Council which have appeared in THE TABLET news- 
paper during the past year. The theological and legal 
part of the work is due almost entirely to the pen of 
Mr. DAVID LEWIS, whose learning and accuracy are 
too well known to need commendation ; while the 
narrative of current events has been prepared by other 
trustworthy and competent hands. 

In order to make this volume on the Preparation 
for the General Council as useful and complete as 
possible, the originals and translations of the Encyclical 
and Syllabus (which may be considered as the remote 
preparation for the Council), as well as of the Apos- 
tolical Letters directed respectively by the Sovereign 
Pontiff to the Bishops of the Church, to the Schismatics 
of the East, and to the Protestants, have been here 
brought together into one place. The Letter of the 
Holy See to the Archbishop of Westminster has also 
been appended, as clearly connected with the same 
matter, and as completing the official documents pub- 
lished by Rome in preparation for the General 

And now I will end by repeating, and adopting in 


iny own name and in the name of those who are in 
any way responsible with me for the contents of this 
volume, the words of Thomas Bradwardine, an Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, who died in 1349: "I know 
what I will do ; I will commit myself to that ship 
which can never perish, the ship of Peter. For in it 
our only Head and Master Christ in safety sat and 
taught ; to teach us mystically that in the boat of Peter, 
the Church of Rome, the authority and teaching of all 
Christian doctrine should abide. To the judgment, 
therefore, of so authentic and so great a teacher I 
submit, and subject fully and altogether myself and 
my writings, now and hereafter."* 

St. Joseph's Foreign Missionary College, 
Mill Hill, London. 

The following is Cardinal Antonelli's Circular to 
the Cardinals and Bishops in forwarding to them the 
Encyclical and Syllabus : 

Our Holy Father, Pius IX., Sovereign Pontiff, 
being profoundly anxious for the salvation of souls 
and for sound doctrine, has never ceased from the 
commencement of his Pontificate to proscribe and 
condemn the chief errors and false doctrines of our 
most unhappy age, by his published Encyclicals, and 
Consistorial Allocutions, and other Apostolic Eetters. 
But as it may happen that all the Pontifical acts do 
not reach each one of the ordinaries, the same 
Soverign Pontiff has willed that a Syllabus of the 
same errors should be compiled, to be sent to all" the 
bishops of the Catholic world, in order that these 
bishops may have before their eyes all the errors and 
pernicious doctrines which he has reprobated and con- 

He has consequently charged me to take care that 

* Bradwardini de Causa Dei. Prof. 


this Syllabus, having been printed, should be sent to 
your [Eminence] on this occasion and at this time, 
when the same Sovereign Pontiff, from his great soli- 
citude for the salvation and general good of the 
Catholic Church and of the whole flock divinely en- 
trusted to him, has thought well to write another 
Encyclical Letter to all the Catholic bishops. Accord- 
ingly, performing, as is my duty, with all suitable zeal 
and submission the commands of the said Pontiff, I 
send your [Eminence] the said Syllabus, together with 
this letter. 

I seize with much pleasure this occasion of express- 
ing my sentiments of respect and devotion to your 
[Eminence], and of once more subscribing myself, 
while I humbly kiss your hands, 

Your [Eminence's] most humble 
and devoted servant, 


Rome, Dec. 8, 1864. 


To our Venerable Brethren, all Patriarchs, Primates, 
Archbishops, and Bishops having favour and com- 
munion of the Holy See. 


With how great care and pastoral vigilance the 
Roman Pontiffs, our predecessors, fulfilling the duty 
and office committed to them by the Lord Christ 




Quanta cura ac pastoral! vigilantia Romani Pontifices Pnedecessores 
Nostri, exsequentes demandatum sibiab ipso Christo Domino in persona 


Himself in the person of most Blessed Peter, Prince 
of the Apostles, of feeding the lambs and the sheep, 
have never ceased sedulously to nourish the Lord's 
whole flock with words of faith and with salutary doc- 
trine, and to guard it from poisoned pastures, is 
thoroughly known to all, and especially to You, Vene- 
rable Brethren. And truly the same, Our Predecessors, 
asserters as they were and vindicators of the august 
Catholic religion, of truth, and of justice, being spe- 
cially anxious for the salvation of souls, had nothing 
ever more at heart than by their most wise Letters 
and Constitutions to unveil and condemn all those 
heresies and errors which, being adverse to our Divine 
Faith, to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, to purity 
of morals, and to the eternal salvation of men, have 
frequently excited violent tempests, and have miser- 
ably afflicted both Church and State. For which 
cause the same our Predecessors, have, with Apostolic 
fortitude, constantly resisted the nefarious enterprises 
of wicked men, who, like raging waves of the sea 
foaming out their own confusion, and promising liberty 
whereas they are the slaves of corruption, have striven 
by their deceptive opinions and most pernicious writ- 
ings to raze the foundations of the Catholic religion 
and of civil society, to remove from among men all 
virtue and justice, to deprave the mind and judgment 
of all, to turn away from true moral training unwary 
persons, and especially inexperienced youth, miserably 

Beatissimi Petri Apostolorum Principis officium, munusque pascendi 
agnos et oves nunquam intermiserint -untversum Dominicum gregem 
sedulo verbis fidei, ac salutari doctrina imlniere, eumque ab 
venenatis pascuis arcere, omnibus quidem ac Vobis prcesertim com- 
pertum, exploratumque est, Venerabiles Fratres. Et sane iidem 
Decessores Nostri, augustce catholicce religionis, veritatis ac justitke 
assertores et vindices, de animarum salute maxime solliciti nihil potius 
unquam habuere, quam sapientissimis suis Litteris, et Constitutionibus 
retegere et damnare omnes hnereses et errores, qui Divine Fidei nostras, 
catholioe Ecclesice cloctrince, morum honestati, ac sempiternre hominum 
saluti adversi, graves frequenter exeitarunt terapestates, et christianam 
civilemque rempublicam miserandum in modum funestarunt. Quocirca 
iidem Decessores Nostri Apostolica fortitudine continenter obstiterunt 
nefariis iniquorum hominum molitionibus, qui destumantes tamquam 
fluctus feri maris confusiones suas, ac libertatem promitteotes, cum 
servi sint corruptionis, fallacibus suis opinionibus, et perniciosissimis 
scriptis catholicK religionis civilisque societatis fundamenta convellere, 
omnemque virtutem ac justitiam de medio tollere, omniumque animos 
mcntesque depravare, et incautos imperitamque procserttm juventutem a 


to corrupt such youth, to lead it into the ' snares of 
error, and at length tear it from the bosom of the 
Catholic Church. 

But now, as is well known to You, Venerable Bre- 
thren, already, scarcely had we been elevated to this 
Chair of Peter (by the hidden counsel of Divine Pro- 
vidence, certainly by no merits of Our own), when, 
seeing with the greatest grief of Our soul a truly awful 
storm excited by so many evil opinions, and [seeing 
also] the most grievous calamities never sufficiently to 
be deplored which overspread the Christian people 
from so many errors, according to the duty of Our 
Apostolic Ministry, and following the illustrious ex- 
ample of Our Predecessors, We raised Our voice, and 
in many published Encyclical Letters and Allocutions 
delivered in Consistory, and other Apostolic letters, 
we condemned the chief errors of this our most un- 
happy age, and we excited your admirable Episcopal 
vigilance, and we again and again admonished and 
exhorted all sons of the Catholic Church, to Us most 
dear, that they should altogether abhor and flee from 
the contagion of so dire a pestilence. And especially 
in Our first Encyclical Letter written to you on Nov. 
9, 1846, and in two Allocutions delivered by us in 
Consistory, the one on Dec. 9, 1854, and the other on 
June 9, 1862, we condemned the monstrous portents 
of opinion which prevail especially in this age, bringing 

recta morum disciplina avertere, eamque miserabiliter corrumpere, in 
erroris laqueos inducere, ac tandem ab Ecclesise catholicse sinu avellere 
conati sunt. 

Jam vero, uti Vobis, Venerabiles Fratres, apprime notum est, Nos 
vix dum arcano divinae Providentise consilio nullis certe Nostris meritis 
ad hanc Petri Cathedram evecti fuimus, cum videremus summo animi 
Nostri dolore horribilem sane procellam tot pravis opinionibus excitatam, 
et gravissima, ac nunquam satis lugenda damna, quae in christianum 
populum ex tot erroribus redundant, pro Apostolici Nostri Ministerii 
officio illustria Praedecessorum Nostrorum vestigia sectantes Nostram 
extulimus vocem, ac pluribus in vulgus editis Encyclicis Epistolis et 
Allocutionibus in Consistorio habitis, aliisque Apostolicis Litteris 
prsecipuos tristissimae nostrae oatatis errores damnavimus, eximiamque 
vestram episcopalem vigilantiam excitavimus, et universos catholicoe 
Ecclesise Nobis carissimos filios etiam atque etiam monuimus et exhortati 
sumus, ut tarn dirse contagia pestis omnino horrerent et devitarent. Ac 
prseserthn Nostra prima Encyclica Epistola die 9 Novembris anno 1846 
Vobis scripta, binisque Allocutionibus, quarum altera die 9 Decembris 
anno 1854, altera vero 9 Junii anno 1862 in Consistorio a Nobis habita 
fuit, monstrosa opinionum poftenta damnavimus, quae hac potissinium 


with them the greatest loss of souls and detriment of 
civil society itself ; which are grievously opposed also, 
not only to the Catholic Church and her salutary doc- 
trine and venerable rights, but also to the eternal 
natural law engraven by God in all men's hearts, and 
to right reason ; and from which almost all other 
errors have their origin. 

But, although we have not omitted often to pro- 
scribe and reprobate the chief errors of this kind, yet 
the cause of the Catholic Church, and the salvation of 
souls entrusted to us by God, and the welfare of 
human society itself, altogether demand that we again 
stir up your pastoral solicitude to exterminate other 
evil opinions, which spring forth from the said errors 
as from a fountain. Which false and perverse opinions 
are on that ground the more to be detested, because 
they chiefly tend to this, that that salutary influence 
be impeded and [even] removed which the Catholic 
Church, according to the institution and command of 
her divine Author, should freely exercise even to the 
end of the world not only over private individuals, 
but over nations, peoples, and their sovereign princes ; 
and [tend also] to take away that mutual fellowship 
and concord of counsels between Church and State 
which has ever proved itself propitious and salutary, 
both for religious and civil interests. For you well know. 
Venerable Brethren, that at this time men are found 
not a few who, applying to civil society the impious 

retate cum maximo animarum clamno, et civilis ipsius societatis detri- 
mento dominantur, quoeque non solum catholicoe Ecclesia?, ejusque 
salutari doctrince ac venerandis juribus, verum etiam sempiternge natural! 
legi a Deo in omnium cordibus insculptse, rectceque rationi maxime 
adversantur, et ex quibus alii prope omnes originem habent errores. 

Etsi autem haud omiserimus potissimos hujusmodi errores scepc 
proscribere et reprobare, tamen catholicas Ecclesiae causa, animarnnique 
salus Nobis divinitus commissa, atque ipsius humanee societatis bonum 
omnino postulant, ut iterum pastoralem vestram sollicitudinem excitemus 
ad alias pravas profligandas opiniones, quce ex eisdem erroribus, veluti 
ex fontibus erumpunt. Quae falsce ac perversce opiniones eo magis 
detestandse sunt, quod eo potissimum spectant, ut imped iaiur et 
amovealur salutaris ilia vis, quam catholica Ecclesia ex divini sui 
Auctoris institutione et mandate, libere exercere debet usque ad con- 
summationem steculi non minus erga singulos homines, quam erga 
nationes, populos summosque eorum Principes, utque de medio tollatur 
niutua ilia inter Sacerdotium et Imperium consiliorum societas et con- 
cord ia, quce rei cum sacrce turn civili fausta semper extitit ac salutaris. 
[Grcgor. XVI. Epist. Encycl. " Mirari." 15 Aug. 1832.] Etenim 
probe noscitis, Venerabiles Fratres, hoc tempore non paucos reperiri, 


and absurd principle of naturalistH, as they call it, 
dare to teach that "the best constitution of public 
society and [also] civil progress altogether require that 
human society be conducted and governed without 
regard being had to religion any more than if it did 
not exist ; or, at least, without any distinction being 
made between the true religion and false ones." And, 
against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and 
of the holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that 
"that is the best condition of society, in which no 
duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of 
restraining, by enacted penalties, offenders against 
the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace 
may require." From which totally false idea of social 
government they do not fear to foster that erroneous 
opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church , 
and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, 
Gregory XVL, an insanity, viz., that " liberty of con- 
science and worships is each man's personal right, 
which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in 
every rightly-constituted society ; and that a right re- 
sides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should 
be restrained by no authority, whether ecclesiastical or 
civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to 
manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either 
by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." 
But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think 
and consider that they are preaching the liberty of 

qui civili consortio impium absurdumque uatiiralismi, uti vocant, 
principium applicantes audent docere, " optimam societatis publics 
rationem, civilemque progressum omnino requirere, ut liumana societas 
constituatur et gubernetur, nullo habito ad religion em respectu, ac si ea 
non existeret, vel saltern nullo facto veram inter falsasque religiones 
discrimine." Atque contra sacrarum Litterarum, Ecclesioe, sanctorumque 
Patrum doctrinam, asserere non dubitant, "optimam esse conditionem 
societatis, in qua Imperio non agnoscitur officium coercendi sancitis 
pcenis violatores catholicae religionis, nisi quatenus pax publica postulet. " 
Ex qua omnino falsa socialis regiminis idea haud timent erroneam illam 
fovere opinionem catholicae Ecclesias, animarumque saluti maxime 
exitialem a rec. mem. Gregorio XVI. Prsedecessore Nostro ddira- 
mentiim appellatam [Eadem Encycl. " Mirar'r\ nimirum " libertatem 
conscientias et cultuum esse proprium cujuscumque hominis jus, quod 
lege proclamari et asseri debet in omni recte constituta societate, et 
jus civibus inesse ad omnimodam libertatem nulla vel ecclesiastica, vel 
civili auctoritate coarctanclam, quo suos conceptus quoscumque sive 
voce, sive typis, sive alia ratione palam publiceque manifestare ac 
declarare valeant. " Dum vero id temere affirmant, haud cogitant et 


perdition ; and that " if human arguments are always 
allowed free room for discussion, there will never be 
wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust 
in the flowing speech of human wisdom ; whereas we 
know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid 
this most injurious babbling." 

And, since where religion has been removed from 
civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine 
revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of jus- 
tice and human right is darkened and lost, and the 
place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied 
by material force, thence it appears why it is that some, 
utterly neglecting and disregarding the surest princi- 
ples of sound reason, dare to proclaim that "the 
people's will, manifested by what is called public 
opinion or in some other way, constitutes a supreme 
law, free from all divine and human control , and that 
in the political order accomplished facts, from the very 
circumstance that they are accomplished, have the 
force of right." But who does not see and clearly 
perceive that human society, when set loose from the 
bonds of religion and true justice, can have, in truth, 
no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amass- 
ing wealth, and that [society under such circumstances] 
follows no other law in its actions, except the un- 
chastened desire of ministering to its own pleasures 

considerant, quod libertatciii pcrditionis [S Aug. Epist. 105, al. 166] 
predicant, et quod "si humanis persuasionibus semper disceptare sit 
liberum, nunquam deesse poterunt, qui veritali andean t resultare, et de 
human re sapiential loquacitalc confidere, cum hanc nocentissimam 
vanitatem quantum debeat fides ct sapientia Christiana vitare, ex ipsa 
Domini nostri Jesu Christi institutione cognoscat. [S. Leonis Epist. 
164, al. 133, edit. Ball] 

Et quoniam ubi a civili sociclate fuit amota rcligio, ac repudiata 
divinai revelationis doctrina et auctoritas, vel ipsa gennana justituc 
humanique juris notio tenebris obscuratur et amittitur, atque in verse 
justitire legitimique juris locum materialis substituitur vis, inde liquet 
cur nonnulli certissimis sanre rationis principiis penitus neglectis 
posthabitisque audeant conclamare, " voluntatem populi, publica, quam 
dicunt, opinione vel alia ratione manifestatam constituere supremam 
legem ab omni divino humanoque jure solutam, et in ordine politico 
facta consummate, eo ipso quod consummata sunt vim juris habere." 
Verum ecquis non videt, planeque sentit, hominum societatem religionis 
ac veroe justitire vinculis solutam nullum aliucl profecto propositum 
habere posse, nisi scopum comparandi, cumulandique opes, nullamque 
aliam in suis actiom'bus legem sequi, nisi indomitam animi cupiditatem 


and interests ? For this reason men of the kind pur- 
sue with bitter hatred the Religious Orders, although 
these have deserved extremely well of Christendom, 
civilization and literature, and cry out that the same 
have no legitimate reason for being permitted to exist ; 
and thus [these evil men] applaud the calumnies of 
heretics. For, as Pius VI., Our Predecessor, taught 
most wisely, "the abolition of regulars is injurious to 
that state in which the Evangelical Counsels are 
openly professed ; it is injurious to a method of life 
praised in the Church as agreeable to Apostolic doc- 
trine ; it is injurious to the illustrious founders them- 
selves, whom we venerate on our altars, who did not 
establish these societies but by God's inspiration." 
And [these wretches] also impiously declare that per- 
mission should be refused to citizens and to the Church, 
" whereby they may openly give alms for the sake of 
Christian charity ;" and that the law should be abro- 
gated " whereby on certain fixed days servile works 
are prohibited because of God's worship ;" on the most 
deceptive pretext that the said permission and law are 
opposed to the principles of the best public economy. 
Moreover, not content with removing religion from 
public society, they wish to banish it also from private 
families. For teaching and professing the most fatal 
error of Communism and Socialism, they assert that 
" domestic society or the family derives the whole prin- 
ciple of its existence from the civil law alone ; and 

inserviendi propriis voluptatibus et commodis ? Eapropter hujusmodi 
homines acerbo sane odio insectantur Religiosas Familias quamvis de 
re Christiana, civili, ac litteraria summopere meritas, etblaterant easdem 
nullam habere legitimam existendi rationem, atque ita hsereticorum 
commentis plaudunt. Nam ut sapientissime rec. mem. Pius VI. 
Decessor Noster docebat, " regularium abolitio Iced it statum publiccc 
professionis consiliorum evangelicorum, Isedit vivendi rationem in 
Ecclesia comrnendatam tamquam Apostolicse doctrinse consentaneam, 
laedit ipsos insignes fundatores ; quos super altanbus veneramur, qui 
non nisi a Deo inspirati eas constituerunt societates." [Epist. ad Card, 
de la Rochefoucault, 10 Martii, 1791.] Atque etiam impie prommciant, 
auferendam esse civibus et Ecclesiae facultatem " qua eleemosynas 
christianae caritatis causa palam erogare valeant," ac demedio tollendam 
legem " qua certis aliquibus diebus opera servilia propter Dei cultum 
prohibentur, " fallacissime prsetexentes, commemoratam facultatem et 
legem opthnse publics ceconomise principiis obsistere. oNeque content! 
amovere religionem a publica societate, volunt religionem ipsam a 
privatis etiam arcere familiis. Etenim funestissimum Communismi et 
Socialisml docentes ac profitentes errorem asserunt " societatem domes- 


consequently that from the civil law alone issue, and 
on it depend, all rights of parents over their children, 
and especially that of providing for education." By 
which impious opinions and machinations these most 
deceitful men chiefly aim at this result, viz., that the 
salutary teaching and influence of the Catholic Church 
may be entirely banished from the instruction and 
education of youth, and that the tender and flexible 
minds of young men may be infected and depraved by 
every most pernicious error and vice. For all who 
have endeavoured to throw into confusion things both 
sacred and secular, and to subvert the right order of 
society, and to abolish all rights divine and -human, 
have always (as we above hinted) devoted all their 
nefarious schemes, devices, and efforts, to deceiving 
and depraving incautious youth and have placed all 
their hope in its corruption. For which reason they 
never cease by every wicked method to assail the 
clergy, both secular and regular, from whom (as the 
surest monuments of history conspicuously attest), so 
many great advantages have abundantly flowed to 
Christianity, civilization, and literature, and to proclaim 
that "the clergy, as being hostile to the true and bene- 
ficial advance of science and civilization, should be 
removed from the whole charge and duty of instruct- 
ing and educating youth." 

Others meanwhile, reviving the wicked and so often 

ticam sen familiam totam suse existentise rationem a jure dumtaxat 
civili mutuari ; proindeque ex lege tantum civili dimanare ac pendere 
jura omnia parentum in filios, cum primis vero jus institutionis educa- 
tionisque curandse." Quibus impiis opinionibus, machinationibusque 
in id praecipue intendunt fallacissimi isti homines, ut salutifera catholics 
Ecclesiae doctrina ac vis a juventutis institutione et educatione prorsus 
eliminetur, ac teneri flexibilesque juvenum animi perniciosis quibusque 
erroribus, vitiisquo misere inficiantur ac depvaventur. Siquidem 
omnes, qui rem turn sacram, turn publicam perturbare, ac rectum 
societatis ordinem evertere, et jura omnia divina et humana delere sunt 
conati, omnia nefaria sua consilia, studia et operam in improvidam 
prsesertim juventutem decipiendam ac depravandam, ut supra innuimus, 
semper contulerunt, omnemque spem in ipsius juventutis corruptela 
collocarunt. Quocirca nunquam cessant utrumque clerum, ex quo, 
veluti certissima historic monumenta splendide testantur, tot magna in 
cbristianam, civilem, et litterariam rempublicam commoda redundarunt, 
quibuscumque infandis modis divexare, et edicere, ipsum Clerum 
" utpote vero, utilique scientiae et civilitatis progressui inimicum, 
ab omni juventutis instituendoe educandaeque cura et officio esse 
amovendum. " 

At vero alii instaurantes prava ac toties damnata novatorum com- 


condemned inventions of innovators, dare with signal 
impudence to subject to the will of the civil authority 
the supreme authority of the Church and of this 
Apostolic See given to her by Christ Himself, and to 
deny all those rights of the same Church and See 
which concern matters of the external order. For 
they are not ashamed of affirming "that the Church's 
laws do not bind in conscience unless when they are 
promulgated by the civil power ; that acts and decrees 
of the Roman Pontiffs, referring to religion and the 
Church, need the civil power's sanction and approba- 
tion, or at least its consent ; that the Apostolic Con- 
stitutions, whereby secret societies are condemned 
(whether an oath of secrecy be or be not required in 
such societies), and whereby their frequenters and 
favourites are smitten with anathema have no force 
in those regions of the world wherein associations of 
the kind are tolerated by the civil government ; that 
the excommunication pronounced by the Council of 
Trent and by Roman Pontiffs against those who assail 
and usurp the Church's rights and possessions, rests 
on a confusion between the spiritual and temporal 
orders, and [is directed] to the pursuit of a purely 
secular good ; that the Church can decree nothing 
which binds the consciences of the faithful in regard to 
their use of temporal things ; that the Church has no 
right of restraining by temporal punishments those 
who violate her laws ; that it is conformable to the 

menta, insigni impudentia audent, Ecclesire et hujus Apostolicse Sedis 
supremam auctoritatem a Christo Domino ei tributam civilis auctoritatis 
arbitrio subjicere, et omnia ejusdem Ecclesire et Sedis jura denegare 
circa ea qiue ad exteriorem ordinem pertinent. Namque ipsos minima 
pudet affirmare " Ecclesize leges non obligare in conscientia, nisi cum 
promulgantur a civili potestate ; acta et decreta Romanorum Pontificum 
ad religionem et Ecclesiam spectantia indigere sanctione et approbatione, 
vel minimum assensu potestatis civilis ; constitutiones Apostolicas 
[Clement XII. "Ineminenti." Benedict XIV. " Providas Romanorwn." 
Pii. VII. " Ecclesiam. " Leonis XII. " Quo graviora'' l \ quibus 
damnantur clandestine societates, sive in eis exigatur, sive non exigatur 
juramentum de secreto servando, earumque asseclce et fautores anathe- 
mate mulctantur, nullam habere vim in illis orbis regionibus ubi ejusmodi 
aggregationes tolerantur a civili gubernio ; excommunicationem a 
Concilio Tridentino et Romanis Pontificibus latam in eos, qui jura 
possessionesque Ecclesire invadunt et usurpant, niti confusione ordinis 
spiritualis ordinisque civilis ac politici, ad mundanum dumtaxat bontim 
prosequendum ; Ecclesiam nihil debere decernere, quod obstringere 
possit fidelium conscientias in ordine ad usum rerum temporalium ; 


principles of sacred theology and public law to assert 
and claim for the civil government a right of property 
in those goods which are possessed by the Church, by 
the Religious Orders, and by other pious establish- 
ments." Nor do they blush openly and publicly to 
profess the maxim and principle of heretics from which 
arise so many perverse opinions and errors. For they 
repeat that " the ecclesiastical power is not by divine 
right distinct from, and independent of, the civil power, 
and that such distinction and independence cannot be 
preserved without the civil power's essential rights 
being assailed and usurped by the Church." Nor can 
we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not 
enduring sound doctrine, contend that "without sin 
and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession 
assent and obedience may be refused to those judg- 
ments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object 
is declared to concern the Church's general good, and 
her rights and discipline, so only it do not touch the 
dogmata of faith and morals." But no one can be 
found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand 
how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma 
of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord 
Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling, and 
guiding the universal Church. 

Amidst, therefore, such great perversity of depraved 
opinions, We, well remembering Our Apostolic Office, 

Ecclesise jus non competere violatores legum suarum poems temporalibus 
coercendi ; conforme esse sacra; theolcgire, jurisque public! principiis, 
bonorum proprietatem, quce ab Ecclesia, a Familiis religiosis, aliisque 
locis piis possidentur, civili gubernio asserere et vindicare." Neque 
erubescunt palam publiceque profited haereticorum efiatum et principium, 
ex quo tot perversae oriuntur sententise, atque errores. Dictitant enim 
" Ecclesiasticam potestatem non esse jure divino distinctam et hide- 
pendentem a potestate civili, neque ejusmodi distinctionem et inde- 
pendentiam servari posse, quin ab Ecclesia invadantur et usurpentur 
essentialia jura potestatis civilis. " Atque silentio pneterire non possumus 
eorum audaciam, qui sanam non sustinentes doctrinam contendunt 
" illis Apostolicce Sedis judiciis, et decretis quomm objectum ad 
bonum generale Ecclesice, ejusdemque jura, ac disciplinam spectare 
declaratur, dummodo fidei morumque dogmata non attingat, posse 
assensum et obedientiam detrectari absque peccato, et absque ulla 
catholicse professionis jactura :" quod quidem quantopere adversetur 
catholico dogmati plena potestatis Romano Pontifici ab ipso Christo 
Domino divinitus collatae universalem pascendi, regendi, et gubernandi 
'Ecclesiam, nemo est qui non clare aperteque videat et intclligat. 

In tanta igitur depravatarum opinionum perversitate, Nos Apostolici 


and very greatly solicitous for our most holy Religion, 
for sound doctrine and the salvation of souls which is 
intrusted to Us by God, and [solicitous also] for the 
welfare of human society itself, have thought it right 
again to raise up Our Apostolic voice. Therefore, by 
Our Apostolic Authority we reprobate, proscribe, and 
condemn all and singular the evil opinions and doc- 
trines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and 
command that they be thoroughly held by all children 
of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed, and 

And besides these things, You know very well, 
Venerable Brethren, that in these times the haters of 
all truth and justice and most bitter enemies of our 
religion, deceiving the people and maliciously lying, 
disseminate sundry other impious doctrines by means 
of pestilential books, pamphlets, and newspapers dis- 
persed over the whole world. Nor are You ignorant, 
also, that in this our age some men are found who, 
moved and excited by the spirit of Satan, have reached 
to that degree of impiety as not to shrink from deny- 
ing Our Ruler and Lord Jesus Christ, and from im- 
pugning his divinity with wicked pertinacity. Here, 
however, we cannot but extol You, Venerable Brethren, 
with great and deserved praise, for not having failed 
to raise, with all zeal, your episcopal voice against 
impiety so great. 

Therefore, in this Our Letter, we again most lovingly 

Nostri officii probe memores, ac de sanctissima nostra Religione, de 
sana doctrina, et animarum salute Nobis divinitus commissa, ac de 
ipsius humanae societatis bono maxime solliciti, Apostolicam Nostram 
vocem iterum extollere existimavimus. Itaque omnes et singulas pravas 
opinionesac doctrinal singillatimhisceLitteriscommemoratasAuctoritate 
Nostra Apostolica reprobamus, proscribimus atque damnamus, casque 
ab omnibus catholioe Ecclesice filiis, veluti reprobatas, proscriptas atque 
damnatas omnino haberi volumus et mandamus. 

Ac prseter ea, optime scitis, Venerabiles Fratres, hisce temporibus 
omnis veritatis justitiseque osores, et acerrimos nostrse religionis hostes, 
per pestiferos libros, libellos, et ephemerides toto terrarum drbe dis- 
persas populis illudentes, ac malitiose mentientes alias impias quasque 
disseminare doctrinas. Neque ignoratis, hac etiam nostra setate, 
nonnullos reperiri, qui Satanoe spiritu permoti et incitati eo impietatis 
devenerunt, ut Dominatorem Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum 
negare, ejusqueDivinitatemscelerataprocacitateoppugnare non paveant. 
Hie vero hand possumus, quin maximis meritisque laudibus Vos 
efferamus, Venerabiles Fratres, qui episcopalem vestram vocem contra 
tantam impietatem omni zelo attollere minime omisistis. ^ 

Itaque hisce Noslris Litteris Vos itemm amantissime alloquimur, 


address you, who, having been called unto a part of 
Our solicitude, are to us, among our grievous distresses, 
the greatest solace, joy, and consolation, because of 
the admirable religion and piety wherein you excel, 
and because of that marvellous love, fidelity, and 
dutifulness, whereby, bound as you are to Us, and to 
this Apostolic See in most harmonious affection, you 
strive strenuously and sedulously to fulfil your most 
weighty episcopal ministry. For from your signal 
Pastoral zeal we expect that, taking up the sword of 
the spirit which rs the word of God, and strengthened 
in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, you will, 
with redoubled care, each day more anxiously provide 
that the faithful intrusted to your charge " abstain 
from noxious herbage, which Jesus Christ does not 
cultivate because it is not His Father's plantation." 
Never cease also to inculcate on the said faithful that 
all true felicity flows abundantly upon man from our 
august religion and its doctrine and practice; and that 
happy is the people whose God is their Lord. Teach 
that " kingdoms rest on the foundation of the Catholic 
Faith, and that nothing is so deadly, so hastening to a 
fall, so exposed to all danger [as that which exists] if, 
believing this alone to be sufficient for us that we 
received free will at our birth, we seek nothing further 
from the Lord ; that is, if forgetting our Creator we 
abjure his power that we may display our freedom." 
And again do not fail to teach " that the royal power 

qui in sollicitudinis Nostrre partem vocati summo nobis inter maxhnas 
Nostras acerbitates solatio, Icctitia;, ct consolationi estis propter egregiam, 
qua praestatis religionem, pietatem, ac propter mirum ilium amorem, 
ficlem, et observantiam, qua Nobis et huic Apostolicae Sedi concor- 
dissimis animis obstricti gravissimum episcopale vestrum ministerium 
strenue ac sedulo implere contend itis. Etenim ab eximio vestro pastorali 
zelo expectamus, ut assumentcs gladium spiritus, quod est verbum Dei, 
et confortati in gratia Domini nostri Jesu Christi, velitis ingeminatis 
studiis quotidie magis prospicere, ut fideles cune vestrse concrediti 
" abstineant ab herbis noxiis, quas Jesus Christus non colit, quia non 
sunt plantatio Patris. " [S. Ignatius M. ad Philadelph. 3.] Atqueeisdem 
fidelibus inculcare nunquam desinite, omnem veram felicitatem in 
homines ex augusta nostra religione, ej usque doctrina et exercitio 
redundare, ac beatum esse populum, cujus Dominus Deus ejus. [Psal. 
143.] ^Docete " catholicoe Fidei fundamento regna subsistere [Caelest. 
Epist. 22, ad Synod. Ephes. apud Coust., p. 1200], et nihil tarn 
mortiferum, tarn pneceps ad casum, tarn expositum ad omnia pericula, 
si hoc solum nobis putantes posse sufficere, quod liberum arbitrium, 
cum nasceremur, accepimus, ultra jam a Domino nihil quseramus, id 


was given not only for the governance of the world, 
but most of all for the protection of the Church ;" 
and that there is nothing which can be of greater 
advantage and glory to Princes and Kings than if, as 
another most wise and courageous Predecessor of Ours, 
St. Felix, instructed the Emperor Zeno, they " permit 
the Catholic Church to practise her laws, and allow 
no one to oppose her liberty. For it is certain that 
this mode of conduct is beneficial to their interests, 
viz., that where there is question concerning the causes 
of God, they study, according to His appointment, 
to subject the royal will to Christ's Priests, not to 
raise it above theirs." 

But if always, Venerable Brethren, now most of all 
amidst such great calamities both of the Church and 
of civil society, amidst so great a conspiracy against 
Catholic interests and this Apostolic See, and so great 
a mass of errors, it is altogether necessary to approach 
with confidence the throne of grace, that We may 
obtain mercy and find grace in timely aid. Where- 
fore, We have thought it well to excite the piety of 
all the faithful in order that, together with Us and 
You, they may unceasingly pray and beseech the 
most merciful Father of light and pity with most 
fervent and humble prayers, and in the fulness of faith 
flee always to Cur Lord Jesus Christ, who redeemed 

est, auctoris nostri obliti, ejus potentiam, ut nos ostendamus liberos, 
abjuremus." [S. Innocent. I. Epist. 29 ad Episc. Cone. Carthag. 
apud Const., p. 891.] Atque etiam ne omittatis docere " regiam 
potestatem non ad solum mundi regimen, sed maxima ad Ecclesice 
presidium esse collatam" [S. Leonis Epist. 156, al. 125], et nihil esse 
quod civitatum Principibus, et Regibus majori fructui, gloriacque esse 
possit, quam si, ut sapientissimus fortissimusque alter Pra&decessor 
Noster S. Felix Zenoni Imperatori praescribebat, " Ecclesiam catho- 
licam . . . sinant uti legibus suis, nee libertati ejus quemquara 
permittant obsistere. . . . Certum est enim, hoc rebus suis esse 
salutare, ut, cum de causis Dei agatur, justa ipsius constitutam regiam 
voluntatem Sacerdotibus Christi studeant subdere, non prseferre." 
[Pii VII. Epist. Encycl. " Diu satis," 15 Mail 1800.] 

Sed si semper, Venerabiles Fratres, nunc potissimum in tantis 
Ecclesioe, civilisque societatis calamitatibus, in tanta adversariorum 
contra rem catholicam, et hanc Apostolicam Sed em conspiratione 
tantaque errorum congerie, necesse omnino est, ut adeamus cum fiducia 
ad thronum gratiae, ut misericord iam consequamur, et gratiam inveni- 
amus in auxilio opportuno. Quocirca omnium fidelium pietatem 
excitare existimavimus, ut una Nobiscum Vobisque clementissimum 
luminura et misericord iamm Patrem ferventissimis humillimisque 
precibus sine intermissione orent, ot obsecrent, et in plenitudine fidei 

PREFACE. xvii 

us to God in His blood, and earnestly and constantly 
supplicate His most sweet Heart, the victim of most 
burning love towards us, that He would draw all 
things to Himself by the bonds of His love, and that 
all men inflamed by His most holy love may walk 
worthily according to His Heart, pleasing God in all 
things, bearing fruit in every good work. But since 
without doubt men's prayers are more pleasing to 
God if they reach Him from minds free of all stain, 
therefore we have determined to open to Christ's 
faithful, with Apostolic liberality, the Church's heavenly 
treasures committed to our charge, in order that the 
said faithful, being more earnestly enkindled to true 
piety, and cleansed through the Sacrament of Penance 
from the defilement of their sins, may with greater 
confidence pour forth their prayers to God, and obtain 
His mercy and grace. 

By these Letters therefore, in virtue of Our Apostolic 
authority, We concede to all and singular the faithful 
of the Catholic world, a Plenary Indulgence in form 'd( , 
Jubilee, during the space of one month only for "the- 
whole coming year 1865, and not beyond ; to be fixed 
by You, Venerable Brethren, and other legitimate ^1 \\-| 
Ordinaries of places, in the very same manned A$ti 
form in which We granted it at the beginning of, Our' 
supreme Pontificate by Our Apostolic Letters irrthe 
form of a Brief, dated November 20, 1846, and atfe- 

_ li'i ; ' ' '- 

per confugiant ad Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum, qui redemit 
Deo in sanguine suo, Ej usque dulcissimum Cor flagrantissimse erga 
nos caritatis victimam enixe jugiterque exorent, ut amoris sui vinculis 
omnia ad seipsum trahat, utque omnes homines sanctissimo suo amore 
infiammati secundum Cor Ejus ambulent digne Deo per omnia placentes, 
in omni bono opere fructincantes. Cum autem sine dubio gratiores 
sint Deo hominum preces, si animis ab omni labe puris ad ipsum 
accedant, idcirco celestes Ecclesise thesauros dispensation! Nostrae 
commissos Christifidelibus Apostolica liberalitate reserare censuimus, 
ut iidem fideles ad veram pietatem vehementius incensi, ac per 
Pcenitentice Sacrrtmentum a peccatorum maculis expiati, fidentius 
suas preces ad Deum effundant, ejusque misericordiam et gratiam 

liisce igitur Litteris auctoritate Nostra Apostolica omnibus et singulis 
utriusque sexus catholici orbis ndelibus Plenariam Indulgentiam ad 
instar Jubiloei concedimus intra unins tan turn mensis spatium usque ad 
totum futurum annum 1865 et non ultra, a Vobis, Venerabiles Fratres, 
aliisque legitimis locorum Ordinariis statuendum, eodem prorsus modo 
et forma qua ab initio supremi Nostri Pontificatus concessimus per 

A 2 


xviii PREFACE. 

dressed to all your Episcopal Order, beginning, 
" Arcano Divinae Providentiae consilio," and with all 
the same faculties which were given by Us in those 
Letters. We will, however, that all things be ob- 
served which were prescribed in the aforesaid Letters, 
and those things be excepted which We there so 
declared. And We grant this, notwithstanding any- 
thing whatever to the contrary, even things which are 
worthy of individual mention and derogation. In 
order however that all doubt and difficulty be re- 
moved, We have commanded a copy of the said Letters 
to be sent you. 

" Let us implore," Venerable Brethren, "God's mercy 
from our inmost heart and with our whole mind : 
because He has Himself added, ' I will not remove 
my mercy from them.' Let us ask and we shall 
receive ; and if there be delay and slowness in our 
receiving because we have gravely offended, let us 
knock, because to him that knocketh it shall be 
opened, if only the door be knocked by our prayers, 
groans, and tears, in which we must persist and per- 
severe, and if the prayer be unanimous : .... let 
each man pray to God, not for himself alone, but for 
all his brethren, as the Lord hath taught us to pray." 
But in order that God may the more readily assent to 
the prayers and desires of Ourselves, of You, and of 
all the faithful, let us with all confidence employ as 

Apostolicas Nostras Litteras in forma Brevis die 20 mensis Novembris 
anno 1846 datas, et ad universum episcopalem vestrum Orclmem missas, 
quarum initium " Arcano Divinse Providentise consilio," et cum 
omnibus eisdem facultatibus, quse per ipsas Litteras a Nobis datse 
fuerunt. Volumus tamen, ut ea omnia serventur, quse in commemoratis 
Litteris praescripta sunt, et ea excipiantur, quse excepta esse declaravi- 
mus. Atque id concedimus, non obstantibus in contrarium facientibus 
quibuscumque, etiam speciali et individua mentione ac derogatione 
dignis. Ut autem omnis dubitatio et difficultas amoveatur, earumdem 
Litterarum exemplar ad Vos perferrijussimus. 

" Rogemus, Venerabiles Fratres, de intimo corde et de tota mente 
misericordiam Dei, quia et ipse addidit dicens : Misericordiam autem 
meam non dispergam ab eis. Petamus et accipiemus, et si accipiendi 
mora et tarditas fuerit quoniam graviter offendimus, pulsemus, quia et 
pulsanti aperietur, si modo pulsent ostium preces, gemitus, et lacrymse 
nostne, quibus insistere et immorari oportet, et si sit unanimis 
oratio, . . . unusquisque oret Deum non pro se tantum, sed pro 
omnibus fratribus, sicut Dominus orare nos docuit. [S. Cyprian. 


our advocate with Him the Immaculate and most 
holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, who has slain all 
heresies throughout the world, and who, the most 
loving Mother of us all, " is all sweet .... and full 
of mercy .... shows herself to all as easily en- 
treated : shows herself to all as most merciful ; pities 
the necessities of all with a most large affection ;" 
and standing as a Queen at the right hand cf her only 
begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in gilded clothing, 
surrounded with variety, can obtain from Him what- 
ever she will. Let us also seek the suffrages of the 
Most Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of 
Paul his Fellow-apostle, and of all the Saints in Heaven, 
who having now become God's friends, have arrived 
at the heavenly kingdom, and being crowned bear 
their palms, and being secure of their own immortality 
are anxious for our salvation. 

Lastly, imploring from Our heart for You from God 
the abundance of all heavenly gifts, We most lovingly 
impart the Apostolic Benediction from Our inmost 
heart, a pledge of our signal love towards You, to 
Yourselves, Venerable Brethren, and to all the clerics 
and lay faithful committed to your care. 

Given at Rome, from S. Peter's, the 8th day of 
December, in the year 1864, the tenth from the Dog- 

Epist. II.] Quo vero facilius Deus Noslris, Vestrisque, et omnium 
fidelium precibus, votisque annuat, cum omni fiducia deprecatricem 
apud Eum adhibeamus Immaculatam sanctissimamque Deiparam 
Virginem Mariam, quse cunctas hoereses interemit in universe mundo, 
quseque omnium nostrum amantissima Mater " tota suavis est . . . ac 
plena misericordiae . . . omnibus sese exoraoilem, omnibus clemen- 
tissimam pnebet. omnium necessitates amplissimo quodam miseratur 
affectu" [S. Bernard. Serm. de duodecim prserogativis B.M.V. ex 
verbis Apocalyp.], atque utpote Regina adstans a dextris Unigeniti 
Filii Sui Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in vestitu deaurato circumamicta 
varietate nihil est, quod ab Eo impetrare non valeat. Suffragia quoque 
petamus Beatissimi Petri Apostolorum Principis, et Coapostoii ejus 
Pauli, omniumque Sanctorum Cselitum, qui facti jam amici Dei per- 
venerunt ad cselestia regna, et coronati possident palmam, ac de sua 
immortalitate securi, de nostra sunt salute solliciti. 

Denique ceelestium omnium donorum copiam Vobis a Deo ex animo 
adprecantes, singularis Nostrae in Vos caritatis pignus Apostolicam 
Benedictionem ex intimo corde prefect am Vobis ipsis, Venerabiles 
Fratres, cunctisque Clericis, Laicisque fidelibus curse vestrse commissis 
peramanter impertimus. 

Datum Romse apud S. Petrum die VIII. Decembris anno 1864, 


matic Definition of the Immaculate Conception of the 
Virgin Mary, Mother of God. 

In the nineteenth year of Our Pontificate. 



[It must be remembered, in regard to these propo- 
sitions, that they were addressed by the Pontiff 
immediately not to laymen but to the Bishops ; and 
that it is the office of those Bishops, or of theologians 
writing under their sanction, to set forth the true 
interpretation of them. For want of remembering 
this persons unacquainted with theological language 
have before now fallen into serious misapprehension. 

One particular instance of this may be mentioned. 
When some given proposition is condemned, it by no 
means follows that what logicians call the " contrary" 
proposition is thereby asserted, but only the " contra- 
dictory." If some misbelievers, e. g., were censured for 
saying that " all men will be finally saved," the Church 
would not thereby teach that no man will be finally 
saved, but only that not all men will be so blessed. 
By a blunder parallel to what we have now exposed a 
recent writer has actually understood the Syllabus as 
teaching that it is a wicked error to admit Protestants 
to equal political rights with Catholics, or to allow 
Protestant immigrants the free use of their worship. 

decimo a Dogmatica Definitione Immaculatse Conceptionis Deiparae 
Virginis Marise. 

Pontificatus Nostri anno decimonono. 

Pius PP. IX. 




" But the condemnation of Prop. 77 only teaches that 
in some places even at this time it is expected that 
the Catholic religion should be treated as the only 
religion of the State, all other worships being excluded." 
And the condemnation of Prop. 78 only implies that 
in some places (and particularly in New Grenada, to 
which the original Allocution referred) it is not 
laudable to tolerate Protestant immigrants in the 
public exercise of their worship. Various very impor- 
tant lessons undoubtedly follow from these condemna- 
tions ; but it is simply monstrous to interpret them as 
has been done by the writer above cited. EDITOR.] 

Pantheism, Naturalism, and absolute Rationalism. 

I. There exists no supreme all-wise and most pro- 
vident divine Being distinct from this universe, and 
God is the same as the nature of things, and therefore 
liable to change ; and God is really made both in man 
and in the world, and all things are God and have the 
self-same substance of God ; and God is one and the 
same thing with the world, and therefore spirit is the 
same thing with matter, necessity with liberty, truth 
with falsehood, good with evil, and just with unjust. 

II. All action of God on mankind and on the world 
is to be denied. 

III. Human reason, without any regard whatever 
being had to God, is the one judge of truth and 
falsehood, of good and evil ; it is a law to itself, and 


Panthcismus, Natiiralismus, et Rationalismus absolntus. 

I. Nullum supremum, sapientissimum, providentissimumquas Numen 
divinum exsistit ab hac rerum universitate distinctum, et Deus idem e^L 
ac rerum natura, et iccirco immutationibus obnoxius ; Deusque reapse 
fit in homine et mundo, atque omnia Deus sunt et ipsissimam Dei habent 
substantiam ; ac una eademque res est Deus cum mundo, et proinde 
spiritus cum materia, necessitas cum libertate, verum cum falso, bonum 
cum malo, et justum cum injusto. 

Alloc. Maxima quidem Qiunii 1862. 

II. Neganda est omnis Dei actio in homines et mundum. 

Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 

III. Humana ratio, nullo prorsus Dei respectu habito, unicus est 


suffices by its natural strength for providing the good 
of men and peoples. 

IV. All the truths of religion flow from the natural 
force of human reason ; hence reason is the chief rule 
whereby man can and should obtain the knowledge of 
all truths of every kind. 

V. Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore 
subject to a continuous and indefinite progress corre- 
sponding to the advance of human reason. 

VI. The faith of Christ is opposed to human reason ; 
and divine revelation not only nothing profits, but is 
even injurious to man's perfection. 

VII. The prophecies and miracles recorded and 
narrated in Scripture are poetical fictions, and the 
mysteries of Christian faith a result of philosophical 
investigations ; and in the books of both Testaments 
are contained mythical inventions ; and Jesus Christ 
himself is a mythical fiction. 


Moderate Rationalism. 

VIII. Since human reason is on a level with religion 

veri et falsi, boni et mali arbiter, sibi ipsi est lex, et naturalibus suis 
viribus ad hominum ac populorum bonum curandum sufficit. 
Alloc. Maxima qtiidem 9 iunii 1862. 

IV. Omnes religionis veritatis ex nativa humanse rationis vi derivant ; 
hinc ratio est princeps norma qua homo cognitionem omnium cujus- 
cumque generis veritatum assequi possit ac debeat. 

Epist. encycl. Qui pluribus 9 novembris 1846. 
Epist. encycl. Singular I quidem 1.7 martii 1856. 
Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1 862. 

V. Divina revelatio est imperfecta et iccirco subjecta continue et 
indefinite progressui qui hum anas rationis progressioni respondeat. 

Epist. encycl. Qui plurfais 9 novembris 1846. 
Ailoc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 

VI. Christi fides humanse refragatur rationi ; divinaque revelatio non 
solum nihil prodest, verum etiam nocet hominis perfection!. 

Epist. encycl. Qui pluribus 9 novembris 1846. 
Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 

VII. Prophetise et miracula in sacris Litteris exposita et narrata sunt 
poetarum commenta, et Christiana fidei mysteria philosophicarum 
investigationum summa ; et utriusque Testamenti libris mythica con-, 
tinentur inventa ; ipseque Jesus Christus est mythica fictio. 

Epist. encycl. Qui phiribtis 9 novembris 1846. 
Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 

Rationatismus moderatus. 

VIII. Quum ratio humana ipsi religioni aequiparetur, iccirco theo- 
logicae discipline perinde ac philosophies tractandse sunt. 

PREFACE. xxiii 

itself, therefore theological studies are to be handled 
in the same manneras philosophical. 

IX. All the dogmas of the Christian religion are 
without distinction the object of natural science or 
philosophy ; and human reason, with no other than an 
historical cultivation, is able from its own natural 
strength and principles to arrive at true knowledge of 
even the more abstruse dogmas, so only these dogmas 
hvae been proposed to the reason itself as its object. 

X. Since the philosopher is one thing, philosophy 
another, the former has the right and duty of sub- 
mitting himself to that authority which he may have 
approved as true ; but philosophy neither can nor 
should submit itself to any authority. 

XI. The Church not only ought never to animadvert 
on philosophy, but ought to tolerate the errors of 
philosophy, and leave it in her hands to correct herself. 

XII. The decrees of the Apostolic See and of 
Roman Congregations interfere with the free progress 
of science. 

XIII. The method and principles whereby the 
ancient scholastic doctors cultivated theology are not 
suited to the necessities of our time and to the progress 
of the sciences. 

Alloc. Singulars quadam perfusi 9 decembris 1854. 

IX. Omnia indiscriminatim dogmata religionis Christianae sunt ob- 
jectum naturalis scientise seu philosophise ; et humana ratio historice 
tantum exculta potest ex suis naturalibus viribus et principiis ad veram 
de omnibus etiam reconditoribus dogmatibus scientiam pervenire, modo 
hsec dogmata ipsi rationi tamquam objectum proposita fuerint. 

Epist. ad Archiep. Frising. Grav'usimas 1 1 decembris 1862. 
Epist. ad eumdera TIMS libaitur 21 decembris 1863. 

X. Quum aliud sit philosophus, aliud philosophia, ille jus officium 
habet se submittendi auctoiitati, quam veram ipse probaverit ; at philo- 
sophia neque potest, neque debet ulli sese submittere auctoritati. 

Epist ad Archiep. Frising. Gravissimas II decembris 1862. 
Epist. ad eumdem Titas libenter 21 decembris 1863. 

XI. Ecclesia non solum non debet in philosophiam unquam animad- 
vertere, verum etiam debet ipsius philosophise tolerare errores, eique 
relinquere ut ipsa se corrigat. 

Epist. ad Archiep. Frising. Gravissimas II decembris 1862. 

XII. Apostolicse Sedis Romanarumque Congregationum decreta 
liberum scientke progressum impediunt. 

Epist. ad Archiep. Frising. Tuas libenter 21 decembris 1863. 

XIII. Methodus et principia, quibus antiqui doctores scholastici 
Theologiam excoluerunt, temporum nostrorum necessitatibus scientia- 
rumque progressui minime congruunt. 

Epist. ad Archiep. Frising. Tuas libenter 21 decembris 1863. 


XIV. Philosophy should be treated without regard 
had to supernatural revelation. 

N.B. To the system of Rationalism belong mostly 
the errors of Antony Giinther, which are condemned 
in the epistle to the Cardinal- Archbishop of Cologne : 
" Eximiam tuam," June 15, 1857, and in that to the 
Bishop of Breslau, " Dolore haud mediocri," April 30, 

Indifferentism, Latitudinal ianism. 

XV. Every man is free to embrace and profess that 
religion which, led by the light of reason, he may 
have thought true. 

XVI. Men may in the practice of any religion 
whatever find the path of eternal salvation, and attain 
eternal salvation. 

XVII. At least good hopes should be entertained 
concerning the salvation of all those who in no respect 
live in the true Church of Christ. 

XVIII. Protestantism is nothing else than a different 
form of the same Christian religion, in which it is 
permitted to please God equally as in the true Catholic 

XIV. Philosophia tractanda est nulla supernaturalis revelationis 
habita ratione. 

Epist. ad Archiep. F rising. TIMS libenter 21 decembris 1863. 
N.B. Cum rationalism! systemate cohaerent maximam partem errores 
Antonii Giinther, qui damnatur in Epist. ad Card. Archiep. Colo- 
niensem Eximiam tttam, 15 iunii 1847, et in Epist. adEpisc. Wratisla- 
viensem Dolore haud mediocri, 30 aprilis 1860. 


Indifferentismus, Latitudinarismns. 

XV. Liberum cuique homini est earn amplecti ac profiler! religionem, 
quam rationis lumine quis ductus veram putaverit. 

Litt. Apost. Multiplies inter 10 iunii 1851. 
Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 

XVI. Homines in cujusvis religionis cultu viam seternae salutis reperire 
jeternamque salutem assequi possunt. 

Epist. encycl. Qui pluribus 9 novembris 1846. 

Alloc. Lbiprimum 17 decembris 1847. 

Epist. encycl. Singular i quidem 17 martii 1856. 

XVII. Saltern bene sperandum est de aeterna illorum omnium salute, 
qui in vera Christi Ecclesia nequaquam versantur. 

Alloc. Singulars quadam 9 decembris 1854. 
Epist. encycl. Quanta conficiamur I7augusti 1863. 

XVIII. Protestantismus non aliud est quam diversa ejusdem 
Christianse religionis forma, in qua seque ac in Ecclesia Catholica Deo 
placere datum est. 

Epist, encycl. Nostis et Nobiscum 8 decembris 1849. 


Socialism, Communism, Secret Societies, Bible 

Societies, Clerical Liberal Societies. 
Pests of this kind are often reprobated, and in the 
most severe terms in the Encyclical " Qui pluribus," 
November 9, 1846; the Allocution "Quibus Quan- 
tisque," April 20, 1849; the Encyclical " Noscitis et 
Nobiscum," December 8, 1849; the Allocution " Sin- 
gulari quadam," December 9, 1854; the Encyclical 
" Quanto conficiamur," August 10, 1863. 


Errors concerning the Church and her rights. 

XIX. The Church is not a true and perfect society 
fully free, nor does she enjoy her own proper and 
permanent rights given to her by her divine Founder, 
but it is the civil power's business to define what are 
the Church's rights, and the limits within which she 
may be enabled to exercise them. 

XX. The ecclesiastical power should not exercise 
its authority without permission and assent of the civil 

XXI. The Church has not the power of dogmati- 
cally defining that the religion of the Catholic Church 
is the only true religion. 


Socialismus, Connnnnisimis, Societates clandestincc, Societates bibliccc, 

So cietates clerico-liberales. 

Ejusmodi pastes saepe gravissimisque verborum formulis reprobantur 
in Epist. encycl. Qui phiribus, 9 novemb. 1846 ; in Alloc. Quibus 
quaiitisque, 20 april. 1849 ; in Epist. encycl. Noscitis et Nobiscum, 8 
dec. 1849; in Alloc. Singulari quadam, 9 decemb. 1854; in Epist. 
encycl. Quanto conficiamur macron:, 10 augusti 1863. 


Errorcs de Ecclesia ej usque junbus. 

XIX. Ecclesia non est vera perfectaque societas plane libera, nee 
pollet suis propriis et constantibus juribus sibi a divino suo Fundatore 
collatis, scd civilis potestatis est definire quae sint Ecclesise jura ac 
limites, intra quos eadem jura exercere queat. 

Alloc. Singulari quadam 9 decembris 1854. 
Alloc. Multis gravibusquc 17 decembris 1860. 
Alloc. Maxima quidem giunii 1862. 

XX. Ecclesiastica potestas suam auctoritatem exercere non debet 
absque civilis gubernii venia et assensu. 

Alloc. Meminit umisquisquc 30 septembris 1 86 1. 

XXI. Ecclesia non habet potestatem dogmatice definiendi, reli- 
gionem Catholicae Ecclesiaa esse unice veram religionem. 

Litt. Apost. Multiplices inter IO iunii 1851. 


XXII. The obligation by which Catholic teachers 
and writers are absolutely bound, is confined to those 
things alone which are propounded by the Church's 
infallible judgment, as dogmas of faith to be believed 
by all. 

XXIII. Roman Pontiffs and (Ecumenical Councils 
have exceeded the limits of their power, usurped the 
rights of Princes, and erred even in defining matters 
of faith and morals. 

XXIV. The Church has no power of employing 
force, nor has she any temporal power direct or in- 

XXV. Besides the inherent power of the episcopate, 
another temporal power has been granted expressly 
or tacitly by the civil government, which may there- 
fore be abrogated by the civil government at its 

XXVI. The Church has no native and legitimate 
right of acquiring and possessing. 

XXVII. The Church's sacred ministers and the 
Roman Pontiff should be entirely excluded from all 
charge and dominion of temporal things. 

XXVIII. Bishops ought not, without the permis- 

XXII. Obligatio, qua catholic! magistri et scnptores omnino 
adstringuntur, coarctatur in iis tantum, quse ab infallibili Ecclesise 
judicio veluti fidei dogmata ab omnibus credenda proponuntur. 

Epist. ad Archiep. Frising. Tuas libenter 21 decembris 1863. 

XXIII. Romani Pontifices et Concilia cecumenica a limitibus suae 
potestatis recesserunt, jura Principum usurparunt, atque etiam in rebus 
fidei et morum definiendis errarunt. 

Litt. Apost. Multiplices inter 10 itinii 1851. 

XXIV. Ecclesia vis inferendse pctestatem non habet, neque potes- 
tatem ullam temporalem directam vel indirectam. 

Litt. Apost. Adapostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

XXV. Procter potestatem episcopatui inhaerentem, alia est attributa 
temporalis potestas a civili imperio vel expresse vel tacite concessa, 
revocanda propterea, cum libuerit, a civili imperio, 

Litt. Apost. A d apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

XXVI. Ecclesia non habet nativum ac legitimum jus acquirendi ac 

Alloc. Nunquamfore 15 decembris 1856. 
Epist encycl. Incredibili 17 septembris 1863. 

XXVII. Sacri Ecclesias ministri Romanusque Pontifex ab omni 
rerum temporalium cura ac dominio sunt omnino excludendi. 
Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 


sion of the Government, to publish even letters 

XXIX. Graces granted by the Roman Pontiff should 
be accounted as void, unless they have been sought 
through the Government. 

XXX. The immunity of the Church and of ecclesi- 
astical persons had its origin from the civil law. 

XXXI. The ecclesiastical forum for the temporal 
causes of clerics, whether civil causes or criminal, 
should be altogether abolished, even without consult- 
ing, and against the protest of, the Apostolic See. 

XXXII. Without any violation of natural right and 
equity, that personal immunity may be abrogated, 
whereby clerics are exempted from the burden of 
undertaking and performing military services ; and 
such abrogation is required by civil progress, espe- 
cially in a society constituted on the model of a free 

XXXIII. It does not appertain exclusively to eccle- 
siastical jurisdiction by its own proper and native 
right to direct the teaching of theology. 

XXXIV. The doctrine of those who compare the 

XXVIII. Episcopis sine Gubernii venia, fas non est vel ipsas apos- 
tolicas litteras promulgare, 

Alloc. Nunqnam fore 15 decembris 1856. 

XXIX. Gratiae a Romano Pontifice concessse existimari debent tam- 
quam irritse, nisi per Gubernium fuerint imploratae. 

Alloc. Nunquam fore 15 decembris 1856. 

XXX. Ecclesise et personarum ecclesiasticarum immunitas a jure 
civili ortum habuit. 

Litt. Apost. Multiplices inter 10 iunii 1851. 

XXXI. Ecclesiasticum forum pro temporalibus clericorum causis sive 
civilibus sive criminalibus omnino de medio tollendum est etiam incon- 
sulta et reclamante Apostolica Sede. 

Alloc. Acerbissimuin 27septembris 1852. 
Alloc. Nunquam fore 15 decembris 1856. 

XXXII. Absque ulla naturalis juris et aequitatis violatione potest 
abrogari personalis immunitas, qua clerici ab onere subeundas exercen- 
deeque militioe eximuntur ; hanc vero abrogationem postulat civilis pro- 
gressus, maxime in societate ad formam liberioris regiminis constituta. 

Epist. ad Episc. Montisregal. Singular is nobisqut 29 sep- 
tembris 1864. 

XXXIII. Non pertinet unice ad ecclesiasticam jurisdictionis potes- 
tatem proprio ac native jure dirigere theologicarum rerum doctrinam. 

Epist. ad Archiep. Frising. Tuas libcnter 21 decembris 1863. 

XXXIV. Doctrina comparantium Romanum Pontincem Principi 

xxviii PREFACE. 

Roman Pontiff to a Prince, free and acting in the 
Universal Church, is the doctrine which prevailed in 
the middle age. 

XXXV. Nothing forbids that by the judgment of 
some general Council, or by the act of all peoples, the 
supreme Pontificate should be transferred from the 
Roman Bishop and City to another Bishop and another 

XXXVI. The definition of a national Council admits 
no further dispute, and the civil administration may 
fix the matter on this footing. 

XXXVII. National Churches separated and totally 
disjoined from the Roman Pontiffs authority may be 

XXXVIII. The too arbitrary conduct of Roman 
Pontiffs contributed to the Church's division into East 
and West. 


Errors concerning Civil Society, considered both in 
itself and in its relations to tJie Church. 

XXXIX. The State, as being the origin and foun- 
tain of all rights, possesses a certain right of its own, 
circumscribed by no limits. 

libero et agenli in universa Ecclesia, doctrina est quoc medio sevo 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

XXXV. Nihil vetat, alicujus Concilii generalis sententia aut uni- 
versorum populorum facto, summum Pontificatum ab Romano Episcopo 
atque Urbe ad alium Episcopum aliamque civitatem transferri. 
Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

XXXVI. Nationalis Concilii definitio nullam aliam admittit dispu- 
tationem, civilisque administratio rem ad hosce terminos exigere potest. 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

XXXVII. Institui possunt nationales Ecclesiae ab auctoritate Romani 
Pontificis subductee planeque divisse. 

Alloc. Multis gravibiisque 17 decembris 1860. 
Alloc. lamdudttm cerniinus 1 8 martii 1861. 

XXXVIII. Divisioni Ecclesise in orientalem atque occidentalera 
nimia Romanorum Pontificum arbitria contulerunt. 

Litt. Apost. Ad aposlolicae 22 augusti 1851. 


Errores desocietate civili tuiii in se, turn in suis ad Ecclesiam 
relationibus spectata. 

XXXIX. Reipublicae status, utpote omnium jurium origo et fons, 
jure quodam pollet nullis circumscripto limitibus. 

Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 


XL. The doctrine of the Catholic Church is opposed 
to the good and benefit of human society. 

XLI. The civil power, even when exercised by a 
non-Catholic ruler, has an indirect negative power 
over things sacred ; it has consequently not only the 
right which they call exequatur, but that right also 
which they call appel comme d'abus. 

XLI I. In the case of a conflict between laws of the 
two powers, civil law prevails. 

XLI 1 1. The lay power has the authority of rescind- 
ing, of declaring null, and of voiding solemn conven- 
tions (commonly called Concordats), concerning the 
exercise of rights appertaining to ecclesiastical im- 
munity, which have been entered into with the Apos- 
tolic See, without this See's consent, and even against 
its protest. 

XLIV. The civil authority may mix itself up in 
matters which appertain to religion, morals and 
spiritual rule. Hence it can exercise judgment con- 
cerning those instructions which the Church's pastors 
issue according to their office for the guidance of 
consciences : nay, it may even decree concerning the 
administration of the holy sacraments, and concerning 
the dispositions necessary for their reception. 

XL. Catholicoe Ecclcsise doctrina humanrc societatisbono et commodo 

Epist. encycl. Qni plteribus 9 novembris 1846. 
Alloc. Qtiibus quantisquc 20 aprilis 1849. 

XLI. Civili potestati vel ab infideli imperante exercitse competit 
potestas indirecta negativa in sacra ; eidem proinde competit nedum jus 
quod vocant exequatur, sed etiam jus appellationis, quam nuncupant ab 

Litt. Apost, Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 
XLII. In conflictu legum utriusque potestatis, jus civile proevalet. 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

XLIII. Laica potestas auctoritatem habet rescind endi, declarandi ac 
faciendi irritas solemnes conventiones (vulgo Concordata} super usu 
jurium ad ecclesiasticam immunitatem pertinentium cum Sede Apos- 
tolica initas, sine hujus consensu, immo et ea reclamante. 
Alloc. In Consistoriali I novembris 1850. 
Alloc. Multis gravibusque 17 decembris 1860. 

XLIV. Civilis auctoritas potest se immiscere rebus quse ad religionem, 
mores et regimen spirituale pertinent, liinc potest de instructionibus 
judicare, quas Ecclesise pastores ad ccnscientiarum normam pro suo 
munere edunt, quin etiam potest de divinorum sacramentorum adminis- 
tratione et dispositionibus ad ea suscipienda necessariis decernei - e. 
Alloc. In Consistoriali I novembris 1850. 
Alloc. Maxima qnidem 9 iunit 1862. 


XLV. The whole governance of public schools 
wherein the youth of any Christian State is educated, 
episcopal seminaries only being in some degree ex- 
cepted, may and should be given to the civil power ; 
and in such sense be given, that no right be recognized 
in any other authority of mixing itself up in the 
management of the schools, the direction of studies, 
the conferring of degrees, the choice or approbation 
of teachers. 

XLVI. Nay, in the very ecclesiastical seminaries, the 
method of study to be adopted is subject to the civil 

XLVI I. The best constitution of civil society 
requires that popular schools which are open to 
children of every class, and that public institutions 
generally which are devoted to teaching literature and 
science and providing for the education of youth, be 
exempted from all authority of the Church, from all 
her moderating influence and interference, and sub- 
jected to the absolute will of the civil and political 
authority [so as to be conducted] in accordance with 
the tenets of civil rulers, and the standard of the 
common opinions of the age. 

XLVI 1 1. That method of instructing youth can be 
approved by Catholic men, which is disjoined from 

XLV. Totum scholarum publicarum regimen, in quibus juventus 
christianae alicujus Reipublicse instituitur, episcopalibus dumtaxat semi- 
nariis aliqua ratione exceptis, potest ac debei attribui auctoritati civili, 
et ita quidem attribui, ut mil him alii cuicumque auctoritati recogriosca- 
tur jus immiscendi se in disciplina scholarum, in regimine studiorum, in 
graduum collatione, in delectu aut approbatione magistrorum. 
Alloc. In Consistoriali I novembris 1850. 
Alloc. Quibus Iuct2iosissimis 5 septembris 1851. 

XLVI. Immo in ipsis clericorum seminariis methodus studiorum adhi- 
benda civili auctoritati subjicitur. 

Alloc. Nunquani fore 15 decembris 1856. 

XLVII. Postulat optima civilis societatis ratio, ut populares scholse, 
quae patent omnibus cujusque e populo classis pueris, ac publica uni- 
versim Instituta, quse litteris severioribusque disciplinis tradendis et 
education! juventutis curandge sunt destinata, eximantur ab omni 
Ecclesiae auctoritate, moderatrice vi et ingerentia, plenoque, civilis ac 
politicse auctoritatis arbitrio subjiciantur, ad imperantium placita et ad 
communium setatis opinionum amussim. 

Epist. ad Archiep. Friburg. Qnnm non sine 14 iulii 1864. 

XLVIII. Catholicis viris probari potest ea juventutis instituendag 
ratio, quae sit a catholica fide et ab Ecclesiae potestate sejuncta, quseque 


the Catholic faith and the Church's power, and which 
regards exclusively, or at least principally, knowledge 
of the natural order alone, and the ends of social life 
on earth. 

XLIX. The civil authority may prevent the Bishops 
and faithful from free and mutual communication with 
the Roman Pontiff. 

L. The lay authority has of itself the right of 
presenting Bishops, and may require of them that 
they enter on the management of their dioceses before 
they receive from the Holy See canonical institution 
and apostolical letters. 

LI. Nay, the lay government has the right of 
deposing Bishops from exercise of their pastoral 
ministry ; nor is it bound to obey the Roman Pontiff 
in those things which regard the establishment of 
Bishoprics and the appointment of Bishops. 

LII. The government may, in its own right, change 
the age prescribed by the Church for the religious 
profession of men and women, and may require reli- 
gious orders to admit no one to solemn vows without 
its permission. 

LII I. Those laws should be abrogated which relate 
to protecting the condition of religious orders and their 

rerum dumtaxat naturalium scientiam ac terrenae socialis vitoe fines tan- 
turn modo vel saltern primarium spectet. 

Epist. ad Archiep. Friburg. Quumnonsine I4iulii 1864. 
XLIX. Civilis auctoritas potest impedire quominus sacrorum Antis- 
tites et fideles populi cum Romano Pontifice libere ac mutuo commu- 

Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 

L. Laica auctoritas habet per se jus pnesentandi Episcopos, et potest 
ab illis exigere ut ineant dioscesium procurationem, antequam ipsi 
canonicam a S. Sede institutionem et apostolicas litteras accipiant. 

Alloc. Nimquam fore 15 decembris 1856. 

LI. Immo laicum gubernium habet jus deponendi ab exercitio pasto- 
ralis ministerii Episcopos, neque tenetur obedire Romano Pontifici in 
iis quoe episcopatum et Episcoporum respiciunt institutionem. 
Litt. Apost. Multiplices inter 10 iunii 1851. 
Alloc. Acerbissimum 27 septembris 1852. 

LII. Gubernium potest suo jure immutare tetatem ab Ecclesiae prse- 
scriptam pro religiosa tarn mulierum quam virorum professione, omni- 
busque religiosis familiis indicere, ut neminem sine suo permissu ad 
solemnia vota nuncupanda aclmittant. 

Alloc. Nitnqitam fore 1 5 'decembris 1856. 

LIII. Abrogandae sunt leges quae ad religiosarum familiarum statum 
tutandum, earumque juraet officia pertinent ; immo potest civile guber- 


rights and duties ; nay, the civil government may give 
assistance to all those who may wish to quit the 
religious life which they have undertaken, and to break 
their solemn vows ; and in like manner it may alto- 
gether abolish the said religious orders, and also 
collegiate churches and simple benefices, even those 
under the right of a patron, and subject and assign 
their goods and revenues to the administration and 
free disposal of the civil power. 

LIV. Kings and Princes are not only exempted 
from the Church's jurisdiction, but also are superior 
to the Church in deciding questions of jurisdiction. 

LV. The Church should be separated from the 
State, and the State from the Church. 


Errors concerning natural and Christian Ethics. 

LVI. The laws of morality need no divine sanc- 
tion, and there is no necessity that human laws be 
conformed to the law of nature, or receive from God 
their obligatory force. 

LVI I. The science of philosophy and morals, and 
also the laws of a state, may and should withdraw 
themselves from the jurisdiction of Divine and eccle- 
siastical authority. 

nium iis omnibus auxilium prasstare, qui a suscepto religiosae vitse 
institute deficere ac solemnia vota frangere velint ; pariterque potest 
religiosas easdem familias perinde ac collegiatas Ecclesias et benefkia 
simplicia etiam juris patronatus penitus extinguere, illorumque bona 
et redituscivilispotestatis administration! et arbitriosubjicere et vindicare. 
Alloc. Acerbissimum 27 septembris 1852. 
Alloc. Probe niemincritis 22 ianuarii 1855- 
Alloc. Cum saepe 26 iulii 1855. 

LIV. Reges et Principes non solum ab Ecclesine jurisdictione eximun- 
tur, veram etiam in qusestionibus jurisdictionis dirimendis superiores 
sunt Ecclesiae. 

Litt. Apost. Multiplices inter 10 iunii 1851. 
LV. Ecclesia a Statu, Statusque ab Ecclesia scjungendus est. 
Alloc. Acerbissimum 27 septembris 1852. 


Rrrores de Ethica naturali ct Christiana. 

LVI. Me rum leges divina baud egent sanctione, minimeque opus est 
ut humanoe leges ad naturae jus conformentur aut obligandi vim a Deo 

Alioc. Maxima qnidem 9 iunii 1862. 

LVII. Philosophicamm rerum morumque scientia, itemque civiles 
leges possunt et debent a divina et ecclesiastica auctoritate declinare. 
Alloc. Maxima qnidem 9 iunii 1862. 

PREFACE. xxxiil 

LVIII. No other strength is to be recognized except 
material force ; and all moral discipline and virtue 
should be accounted to consist in accumulating and 
increasing wealth by every method, and in satiating 
the desire of pleasure. 

LIX. Right consists in the mere material fact ; and 
all the duties of man are an empty name, and all 
human facts have the force of right. 

LX. Authority is nothing else but numerical power 
and material force. 

LXI. The successful injustice of a fact brings with 
it no detriment to the sanctity of right. 

LXI I. The principle of non-intervention (as it is 
called) should be proclaimed and observed. 

LXIII. It is lawful to refuse obedience to legitimate 
princes, and even rebel against them. 

LXIV. A violation of any most sacred oath, or 
any wicked and flagitious action whatever repugnant 
to the eternal law, is not only not to be reprobated, 
but is even altogether lawful, and to be extolled 

LVIII. Alirc vires non sunt agnoscendse nisi illos quce in materia 
positce sunt, et omnis morum disciplina honestasque collocari debet in 
cumulandis et augendis quovis moclo divitiis ac in voluptatibus explendis. 
Alloc. Maxima qnidon 9 iunii 1862. 
Epist encycl. Quanta conficiamur 10 augusti 1863. 
LIX. Jus in material! facto consistit, et omnia hominum officia sunt 
nomen inane, et omnia humana facta juris vim habent. 

Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 

LX. Auctoritas nihil aliud est nisi numeri et materialium virium 

Alloc. Maxima quidem 9 iunii 1862. 

LXI. Fortunate, facti injustitia nullum juris sanctitati detrimentum 

Alloc. lamdudum cernimus 1 8 martii 1 86 1. 

LXI I. Proclamandum est et observandum principium quod vocant 
de 11011 interventu. 

Alloc. Novos et ante 28 septembris 1860. 

LXIII. Legitimis principibus obedientiam detrectare, immo et 
rebellare licet. 

Epist. encycl. Qui pluribns 9 novembris 1846. 
Alloc. Quisque vestrum 4 octobris 1847. 
Epist. encycl. Nostis et Nobiscum 8 decembris 1849. 
Litt. Apost. Cumcatholica 26 martii 1860. 

LXIV. Turn cuj usque sanctissimi juramenti'violatio, turn qucclibet 
scelesta flagitiosaque aetio sempiternse legi repugnans, non soluin haud 

A 3 


with the highest praise when it is done for love of 


Errors concerning Christian Matrimony. 

LXV. It can in no way be tolerated that Christ 
raised matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament. 

LXVI. The sacrament of marriage is only an acces- 
sory to the contract, and separable from it ; and the 
sacrament itself consists in the nuptial benediction 

LXVI I. The bond of matrimony is not indissoluble 
by the law of nature ; and in various cases divorce, 
properly so called, may be sanctioned by the civil 

LXVI 1 1. The Church has no power of enacting 
diriment impediments to marriage ; but that power is 
vested in the civil authority, by which the existing 
impediments may be removed. 

LXIX. In later ages the Church began to enact 
diriment impediments, not in her own right, but through 
that right which she had borrowed from the civil 

est improbanda, verum etiam omnino licita, summisque laudibus 
efferenda, quando id pro patriae amore agatur. 

Alloc. Quibus quantisqiie 20 aprilis 1849. 


Errores de Matrimonio Christiana. 

LXV. Nulla ratione ferri potest, Christum evexisse matrimonium ad 
dignitatem sacramenti. 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

LXVI. Matrimonii sacramentum non est nisi contractui accessorium 
ab eoque separabile, ipsumque sacramentum in una tantum nuptial! 
benedictione situm est. 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 23 augusti 1851. 

LXVII. Jure naturae matrimonii vinculum non est indissolubile, 
et in variis casibus divortium proprie dictum auctoritate civili sanciri 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 
Alloc. Acerbissinmm 27 septembris 1852. 

LXVIII. Ecclesia non habet potestatem impedimenta matrimonium 
dirimentia inducendi, sed ea potestas civili auctoritati competit, a qua 
impedimenta existentia tollencla sunt. 

Litt. Apost. Mulliplices inter 10 iunii 1851. 

LXIX. Ecclesia sequioribus saeculis dirimentia impedimenta inducere 
ccepit, non jure proprio, sed illo jure usa, quod a civili potestate mutuata 


LXX. The Canons of Trent, which inflict the cen- 
sure of anathema on those who dare to deny the 
Church's power of enacting diriment impediments, are 
either not dogmatical, or are to be understood of this 
borrowed power. 

LXXI. The form ordained by the Council of Trent 
does not bind on pain of nullity wherever the civil law 
may prescribe another form, and may will that, by 
this new form, matrimony shall be made valid. 

LXXI I. Boniface VIII. was the first who asserted 
that the vow of chastity made at ordination annuls 

LXXIIL By virtue of a purely civil contract there 
may exist among Christians marriage, truly so called; 
and it is false that either the contract of marriage 
among Christians is always a sacrament, or that there 
is no contract if the sacrament be excluded. 

LXXIV. Matrimonial causes and espousals belong 
by their own nature to the civil forum. 

N.B. To this head may be referred two other errors : 
on abolishing clerical celibacy, and on preferring the 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

LXX. Tridentini canones qui anathematis censuram illis inferunt 
qui facultatem impedimenta dirimentia inducendi Lcclesice negare 
audeant, vel non sunt dogmatic! vel de hac mutuata potentate intclli- 
gendi sunt. 

Litt. Apost. Ad 'apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

LXXI. Tridentini forma sub infirmitatis pcena non obligat, ubi lex 
civilis aliam formam prasstituat, et velit ac nova forma interveniente 
matrimonium valere. 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

LXXII. Bonifacius VIII. votum castitatis in ordinatione emissum 
nuptias nullas reddere primus asseruit. 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 

LXXIIL Vi contractus mere civilis potest inter christianos constare 
veri nominis matrimonium ; falsumque est, aut contractum matrimonii 
inter christianos semper esse sacramentum, aut nullum esse contractum, 
si sacramentum excludatur. 

Litt. Apost. A d apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 
Lettera di SS. Pio IX al Re di Sardegna, 9 settembre 1852. 
Alloc. Acerbissimum 27 septembris 1852. 
Alloc. Alnltis gravibusque 17 decembris 1860. 

LXXIV. Caussce matrimoniales et sponsalia suapte natura ad forum 
civile pertinent. 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolicae 22 augusti 1851. 
Alloc. Acerlnssitmtm 27 septembris 1852. 
N.B. Hue facere possunt duo alii errores : de clericorum 


state of marriage to that of virginity. They are con- 
demned, the former in the Encyclical " Qui pluribus," 
Nov. 9, 1846 ; the latter in the Apostolic Letters, 
"Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851. 

Errors concerning the Roman Pontiff's civil princedom. 

~LXXV. Children of the Christian and Catholic 
Church dispute with each other on the compatibility 
of the temporal rule with the spiritual. 

LXXVI. The abrogation of that civil power, which 
the Apostolic See possesses, would conduce in the 
highest degree to the Church's liberty and felicity. 

N.B. Besides these errors explicitly branded, many 
others are implicitly reprobated in the exposition and 
assertion of that doctrine which all Catholics ought 
most firmly to hold concerning the Roman Pontiff's 
civil princedom. This doctrine is clearly delivered in 
the Allocution " Quibus quantisque/' April 20, 1849 ; 
in the Allocution, "Si semper antea," May 20, 1850 ; 
in the Apostolic Letters, " Cum Catholica Ecclesia," 
March 26, 1860 ; in the Allocution, " Novos," Sept. 28, 
1861 ; in the Allocution "Jamdudum," March 18, 
1861 ; in the Allocution, "Maxima quidem," June 
9, 1862. 

abolendo et de statu matrimonii statui virginitatis anteferendo. Con- 
fodiuntur, prior in Epist. Encycl. Qid plnribits, 9 Novembris 1846, pos- 
terior in Litteris Apost. Multiplices inter, 10 Junii 1851. 

Err ores de chili Romani Pont i fids Prindpatn. 

LXXV. De temporalis regni cum spiritual! compatibilitate disputant 
inter se christianse et catholicce Ecclesice filii. 

Litt. Apost. Ad apostolic ~ae 22 augusti 1851. 

LXXVI. Abrogatio civilis imperii, quo Apostolica Sedes potitur, ad 
Ecclesise libertatem felicitatemque vel maxime conduceret. 
Alloc. Qui&us quantisqne 20 aprilis 1849. 

N.B. Prater hos errores explicite notatos, alii complures implicite 
reprobantur proposita et asserta doctrina, quam catholici omnes firmis- 
sime retinere debeant, de civili Romani Pontificis principatu. Ejusmodi 
doctrina luculenter traditur in Alloc. Quibtts quantisqjie, 20 April. 1849;. 
in Alloc, Si semper antea 20 Maii 1850; in Litt. Apost. Cum catholica 
Ecclesia, 26 Mart. 1860 ; in Alloc. Novos, 28 Sept. 1860 ; in Alloc. 
Jamdiidmn, 1 8 Mart. 1 86 1 ; in Alloc. Maxima qnidcm, 9 Junii 1862. 



Errois ivhich have reference to the Liberalism of the 

LXXVII. In this our age it is no longer expedient 
that the Catholic religion should be treated as the 
only religion of the State, all other worships whatso- 
ever being excluded. 

LXXVII I. Hence it has been laudably provided by 
law in some Catholic countries, that men thither im- 
migrating should be permitted the public exercise of 
their own several worships. 

LXXIX. For truly it is false that the civil liberty 
of all worships, and the full power granted to all of 
openly and publicly declaring any opinions or thoughts 
whatever, conduces to more easily corrupting the 
morals and minds of peoples and propagating the 
plague of indifferentism. 

LXXX. The Roman PontifTcan and ought to recon- 
cile and harmonize himself with progress, with libe- 
ralism, and with modern civilization. 


Errores qui ad Liberalismum hodiermtm referuntur. 
LXXVII. /Etate hac nostra non amplius expedit religionem catho- 
licam haberi tanquam unicam status religionem, ceteris quibuscumque 
cultibus exclusis. 

Alloc. Nemo vestrum 26 iulii 1855. 

LXXVIII. Hinc laudabiliter in quibusdam catholici nominis region- 
ibus lege cautum est, ut hominibus illuc immigrantibus liceat publicum 
proprii cujusque cultus exercitium habere. 

Alloc. Acerbissimum 27 septembris 1852. 

LXXIX. Enimvero falsum est, civilem cujusque cultus libertatem, 
itemque plenam potestatem omnibus attributam quaslibet opiniones 
cogitationesque palam publiceque manifestandi, conducere ad populorum 
mores animosque facilius corrumpendos, ac indifferentismi pestem pro- 

Alloc. Nunquamforc 15 decembris 1856. 

LXXX. Romanus Pontifex potest ac debet cum progresstt, cum 
liberalismo et cum recenti civilitate sese reconciliare et coinponere. 
Alloc. lamdiidum cernimus iSmartii 1861. 








Conciliorum originem ab Apostolis petere debemus, a quibus primum 
Concilium Jerosolymis fait celebratum, cum Antiochias exorta esset 
controversia de necessitate circumcisionis, legisque Mosaicae servandse: 
cujus Concilii acta refenmtur a Sancto Luca in cap. xv. Actorum. 
Quamobrem Ecclesia ab Apostolis edocta, eorumque exemplum 
secuta, quoties aut in rebus fidei aut disciplines aliquid in contro- 
versiam venit, quod, etsi sola Roinani Pontificis perscripta auctoritate 
definiri posset, pro temporum tamen vel causarum aut personarum 
ratione, multo facilius coactis in unum Episcopis, atque collatis con- 
siliis expediri posse videretur, concilia habere consuevit. Bartholi, 
Inst. Juris Canonic., c. 21. 

THE convocation of a General Council is a fact 
that has come upon this generation in a 
manner so unexpected that it has deprived it, 
in one sense, of the power of discussing its meaning. 
There is in the minds of some a certain feeling akin 
to that of fear, for they cannot imagine any reasons 
why the Sovereign Pontiff, amid all his troubles, 
should voluntarily add to them. It is true that these 
people have notions of General Councils not likely to 
be realized at present, for they imagine the Prelates, 
who will come together from the four corners of the 
earth, to be under the dominion of ideas and prejudices 
long ago extinct in the ecclesiastical mind. It is, 
perhaps, impossible to persuade these people of con- 



fused knowledge, that the Bishops of the Church 
understand their position, know their work, and are 
ready to do it. But there are also many persons, un- 
happily for themselves and to their grievous spiritual 
loss, who have heard without much sympathy of this 
great Pontifical act, and therefore remain indifferent 
to the issues. Every action of the Sovereign Pontiff 
concerns the Church over which he rules as the Vicar 
of God, and every member of that Church ought to 
feel, and those who realize their state do feel, some 
more, some less, a most constant and abiding sense of 
the supernatural power and influence which every 
Pontifical act involves. As in civil life, the acts of 
the sovereign power in making laws and decrees, by 
which the rights or possessions of the subject are 
touched, reach in a thousand ways through the whole 
body politic, so is it in the Church, but in a far greater 
degree and to far nobler ends ; for the aims of the 
Pope are higher than temporal and material good, 
seeing that the whole action of the Church and he 
is its supreme ruler tends to the salvation of human 

Whentheworld first heard a rumour from Rome that 
his Holiness the Pope was seriously thinking of calling 
a General Council, and of holding it in the Eternal 
City, daily menaced by the lawless men who have 
tried to banish civil government out of the world as 
well as the holy name of Christ, it received that 
rumour with incredulity, and then treated" the story 
with the contemptuous indifference which it gives only 
to the things of God. Good people too wondered, and 
were not wholly without fear ; but as time went on, 
and they had time to think, their minds underwent a 
change, and they found themselves not only willing to 
accept the Council, but even eager to welcome the In- 
diction of it. It was a change wrought by the hand 
of the Highest, and an earnest of coming good, for 
the soil was undergoing the fitting preparation for the 
Great Husbandman, who in due time will sow the corn 
of God, into whose storehouses his successors will have 
to gather the harvest when the time shall have come 
for its ripening. 

Since the publication of the Bull of Indiction 


on the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, 1868, many 
prayers have ascended up to Heaven for the intention 
of his Holiness from pious and humble souls, who 
probably, if they were questioned, would be able to 
give but poor answers to any one that might be 
tempted to ask them what they know about a General 
Council. They know very likely nothing to be won- 
dered at, but they know that the Pope is set over 
them by God, and that every act of his concerns them ; 
they feel that they are interested in the Pope, that he 
is more to them than any other man on earth, and 
that they wish more keenly for his prosperity than 
they wish for their own. They feel and know that 
the Sovereign Pontiff is not acting from caprice, 
without reflection, or for other ends than those he 
acknowledges, and so they go simply to their prayers 
like dutiful children when father or mother asks them 
to pray. 

On the other hand, the powers of this world, moved 
by the powers of hell, are more or less troubled, for 
the voice of the great Shepherd has been heard calling 
his sheep together, and they do not care to be of the 
number. They have indulged themselves in many 
speculations about the Pontiff's intentions, but they 
have not given him credit for any that are good. 
They suspect him, watch him, and are ready to en- 
trap him if they can. Their scribes are busy, but 
with them we have nothing to do. There is nothing 
to make us afraid, and the world is now more afraid 
of the Church than it has been in the memory of 
living men, and stands before her not altogether 
unlike the old pagan world in the presence of the 
Faith during the time that intervened between one 
persecution and another. 

From the beginning of the Church to this day there 
have been but eighteen General Councils, and in nine 
of these the Popes presided in person, in the other 
nine by their Legates. His Holiness now reigning 
has convoked the Nineteenth General Council, which 
will be known as the First Council of the Vatican. It 
is to begin its work in public on the Feast of the Im- 
maculate Conception this year, and it will be one of 
the great acts of his reign, The Council of Trent is 


the last of the General Councils, and the last session 
of that assembly was held on the fourth day of Decem- 
ber, 1563. It is now three hundred years since the 
last General Council was held, and we are living as 
far from that day as the Fathers of Nice who as- 
sembled for the first time in an CEcumenical Synod 
were from the foundation of the Church. Nine gener- 
ations of men and thirty-one Popes have passed away 
since the close of the Council of Trent. 

His Holiness calls the Council because of the cala- 
mities of the times, and also because the Bishops 
throughout the world desire to hear his judgment. 
Nihil antiquius Jiabent quern i sua Nobiscum communi- 
care et conferre consilia, ac salutaria tot calamitatibus 
adhibere remedia. It is plain from this that there is 
no danger or risk to the Pope, as some have suggested, 
in the assembling of the Prelates, for they are going to 
Rome, not to teach the Pope, but to learn, to be 
" confirmed," and to receive new strength from their 
visit to the holy place, where the body of the first 
Pope is waiting for the resurrection of the just. 

There have been times of calamity before our day, 
and the Popes have been in grievous straits, but no 
Pope since St. Peter has had such an Episcopate under 
him as God has given to Pius IX. There is no sus- 
picion anywhere that there are Bishops going to Rome 
to be troublesome, Bishops more in the service of the 
State than in the service of the Church ; all the Pre- 
lates summoned are men of good-will, men whom the 
Pope describes as singulari in Catholicam ecclesiam 
amore incensi Prelates whose hearts are burning with 
a special love of Holy Church; men, too, eximia erga 
Nos et Apostolicam hanc Sedan pietate et observantia 
spcctati loyal Bishops of tried fidelity, and of tender 
reverence for the Holy See and the Pope. The unity 
of the Church is a feeling here as well as a fact, and 
amid the multitude of dolours which are surging up 
over the soul of the Pontiff, God has given him one 
consolation on earth, he (and in this, unlike many of 
his predecessors) cannot say filios enutrivi et exaltavi, 
ipsi autem spreverunt me. His children, whom he 
has raised to high dignities, have not despised him. 
The Bishops of Holy Church are faithful and true, 


and the Pope is glad to bear that testimony in their 

General Councils, then, are not of common occur- 
rence, nor is there any rule or law about them. They 
are held when the Pontiff thinks it fitting, for it cannot 
be said that they are in any way necessary. They 
were at no time thought essential to the well-govern- 
ing of the Church, though there was a time when 
some persons thought it wise to make their convoca- 
tion imperative once in ten years. A General Council 
was called together for the condemnation of the 
Arian heresy, but it was not thought necessary to call 
one for the condemnation of Jansenism. The Church 
is not bound to have recourse to a General Council 
in every trouble. Viewed as remedies for great evils, 
they are even in that sense not had recourse to, for 
Europe has been in sore distress more than once 
during the last 300 years, but the Pope did not judge it 
right to assemble the Prelates in a General Council. It 
would be easy to say that at such or such a time a General 
Council might have been desirable, as, for instance, at 
the time of the Treaty of Westphalia, for the times 
were evil as they are now, yet the Holy See did not 
call a Council. The reasons for convocation must be 
sought elsewhere, and it may not be given to man 
even to discover why the Holy Ghost moves the Pope 
at particular times to call to his side his distant 
brethren, who have a share in his heavy anxieties, but 
are not possessed with the fullness of his power. 

General Councils are signs, at least, of something 
unusual. The Church seems to break through her 
daily round of work ; there is a change and a stir ; the 
waters of the pool are disturbed, and to people who 
have faith there must come great graces, if only they 
look for them. There must be some reason for this 
inspiration of the Pope, and we had better take the 
matter to heart, lest we should miss something that 
we might otherwise have had. All the Bishops of the 
Church travelling to Rome from all parts of the earth 
are something more than ordinary travellers more 
than common pilgrims. They are not going to visit 
the tomb of the Apostles merely out of devotion, for 
they are summoned ; they are obedient to a heavenly 

voice, and the act of going is meritorious. They are 
the sheep of the great Shepherd ; the brethren going 
to be confirmed, strengthened, and inspired anew for 
their daily labour and harassing work. They go to 
receive light, and they will find it ; for strength, and 
will get it ; their flocks, when they return, will profit 
by them, and the power of St. Peter's shadow will be 
seen once more miraculous. 

The Pope calls the Council because the world is 
sick ; he sends for the Prelates of the Church because 
he is anxious for the correction of men's morals, which 
are now corrupt : ad corruptos populorum mores 
corrigendos. Civil governments are powerless to stem 
an evil which they have never seriously tried to check ; 
but the Pope will try ; he will do his work ; and leaving 
success in the hands of God, he does his duty. His 
business is to show men and help them on the road 
to Heaven ; but in order to do this he has to fight 
against the world, and to proclaim anew, year by year, 
even the elementary principles of justice. He, whose 
work is primarily to guard and teach the supernatural 
doctrines of the Faith and the morals of the Gospel, 
finds that he has to teach also the precepts 
of the natural law, the common maxims of honesty, 
because men are so perverse, and so ready to sink 
to a lower level than the brutes, who never fail in 
obedience to their natural instincts. For doing this, 
men rise and sit in judgment on his acts, question his 
motives, and denounce his reasons. At first there 
were rumours that certain Governments would lay re- 
straints upon the Bishops within their reach, and hin- 
der them from obeying the summons of the Pope ; but 
there were no rumours about disobedient Bishops, and 
the heart of the Pontiff must have been glad when he 
knew that his own servants were faithful. 

The Indiction of a General Council is a very grave 
and solemn act, for the Pope is not thereby merely in- 
viting the Prelates to attend him. It is true, he does 
that in a most fatherly and tender way, and almost 
descends to supplication, but the majesty of the Pon- 
tiff is not obscured by the gracious humility of the 
invitation. The Sovereign Pontiff, in all his acts, 
never forgets who he is the Vicar of God, invested 


with the fullness of power and authority, and the 
holder of the keys of Heaven. So, in the Indiction of 
the Council, after determining the day whereon it is 
to meet, and proclaiming the reasons for that Indiction, 
the Pope says Volumus, jubcmus, omnes ex omnibus 
locis tarn Vencrables Fratres Patriardias, arcJticpiscopos, 
episcopos quam dilectos filios Abbates, omnesque alias, 
quibusjure, autprivilcgio, Conciliis gencralibus residcndi, 
et sententias in eis dicendi facta cst potestas, ad hoc 
(Ecumenicum Concilium a Nobis indicium venire debere, 
reqidrentes Jwrtantes admonentcs ac niliilominus eis vi 
jurisjurandi, quod Nobis ethnic sanctce Sediprcestiterunt, 
ac sanctcz obcdicntice virtute, ut sub pcznis jure aut 
consuetudinc in celebrationibus Conciliorum adversus 
non accedentes fcrri et proponi solitis, mandantes arcteque 
prcecipientes y ut ipsimet nisi forte justo detineantur im- 
pedimento, quod tamcn per legitimos Procurators 
Synodo probare debebunt, Sacro Jiuic Concilio omnino 
adesse et interesse tcneantur. That is, the Supreme 
-Pastor of the flock of God wills and commands the 
attendance of all the Prelates ; he reminds them of 
their obedience due to him, and of the sanctions 
guarding that obedience ; moreover, as the Sovereign 
Ruler, he sets before them the penalties due to dis- 
obedience, and the absolute necessity of proof that 
their absence, if so it shall be, is due not to negligence, 
but to the impossibility of their personal attendance. 

A General Council, then, is not an assembly into 
which a Prelate may go or not go, at his own pleasure 
or convenience. It is a far more serious affair at all 
times, and to every one summoned it is the most seri- 
ous affair for him. The ordinary work of his daily ' 
life, however important it may be, must be intermitted, 
so far as he is concerned, because his presence is re- 
quired in the great congregation which comes together 
at the bidding of one -whom all the powers of the 
world must obey. 




Concilium Generale est Congregatio Episcoporum et aliorum indicta, 
congregata continuata et approbata in suis actibus a Romano Pontifice 
in ea prsesidente personaliter, vel per suos Legates, ad tractandum 
canonice et capitulariter de rebus universani religionem Christianam 
tangentibus. Bordoni, Sacr. Tribunal., c. vi. 2, 15. 

A GENERAL Council is. an assembly of ecclesias- 
tical, not of lay persons, not of all ecclesiastics, 
but only of Prelates ; those who are in authority. Eccle- 
siastics under subjection to other ecclesiastics are not 
summoned, such as parish priests and religious, not 
even canons. Bishops are summoned, and Bishops 
are the chief persons who constitute a Council, under 
the Chief of all the Bishops. But they are summoned, 
not because of their rank, so far as that depends on 
their Orders, but because they are called to a share in 
the anxieties of the Pope : in partem solicitudinis 
vocati ; in other words, because they have jurisdiction 
in the places where they habitually dwell, or whence 
they derive their titles. Thus, a Bishop who has re- 
signed his See, and has retired to a monastery, is not 
summoned, for he has ceased to be a Prelate ; but a 
Bishop whose See is occupied by the Infidels, or who is 
inexile,orinanywayhinderedfromthe active exercise of 
his jurisdiction, which he has not himself abandoned or 
forfeited, is summoned together with his brethren, for 
he is still a Prelate, possessed of his authority and 
rank in the Church. A Bishop, too, who resigns 
his see, from any cause, and is then translated, or 
nominated to a bishopric in partibus infidelium, retains 
his dignity, and is liable to be summoned with the 
others. Primarily, all persons who have received 
episcopal consecration are the constituent elements 
of a General Council. 

But Bishops are not the only members of the 
Council : the Cardinals are members of it, so also are 
Abbots, and Generals of the Regulars, for all these 


are invested with a jurisdiction quasi-episcopal. They 
are summoned because of the dignities to which they 
have been raised, not because of any Orders they may 
have received, for they may be Priests only, and the 
Cardinals may not be even Priests, all of them. 
Though this be so, it is denied that there is any right 
in the matter beyond that of custom : but it is not 
necessary, nor would it be useful, to discuss the ques- 
tion here ; it is enough for us to know that persons not 
in the Orders of a Bishop have a right to sit, and 
a right to give their suffrages, in a General Council,'" 
whatever the nature of that right may be. 

The Council is said to be General or CEcumenic, 
because all the Prelates are summoned who have 
jurisdiction in any part of the Church, but the non- 
attendance of any or of many of those who were 
summoned would not deprive the Council of its 
character of universality ; whether a hundred or ten 
Bishops came together would make no difference ; the 
Council is General because of the summons sent forth 
by the Pope. Thus, in the several Councils that have 
been held, the number of attending Prelates has 
varied, but the authority or dignity of the Council 
was never questioned because the attendance was 
scanty or intermittent. 

The Pope has summoned the Prelates from the 
four corners of the earth, and it is possible that the 
attendance will be larger than it ever has been before. 
It is true that many countries are laid waste by 
heresy and schism, and that from them not many 
Bishops may be expected ; but in spite of all his 
trials, perhaps in consequence of them, there are now 
so many new sees that, in the next Council, Bishops 
will be seen of whom none could prophesy in any of 
the Councils that have gone before. Bishops will 
come from the United States of America, where there 
was not a single Prelate when the Fathers of the 
Church were assembled in Trent. .They will also 

* Prseter Episcopos solent insuper Cardinales non episcopi, Abbates 
et Prsepositi Generates Ordinum Regularium suffragium ferre, quippe 
qui jurisdictione quasi Episcopali potiuntur. Sed ex mera Ecclesue 
concessione et privilegio factum est, ut quam facultatem vi characteris 
non habent, eandem vi dignitatis obtinerent. Card. Soglia, Institiit. 
Jun. Publ., c. ii., sec. 35. 


come from the distant .colonies of England, into which 
the Faith has been carried, and where there was not 
one Christian when this country rose in rebellion 
against the Vicar of Christ, and cast the command- 
ments of God behind its back. 

His Holiness has also invited, not summoned, the 
rebel Bishops of the Oriental rites. Upon them he 
lays no command, nor does he threaten them with 
pains and penalties ; not, however, because they are 
not his subjects, but because they are contumacious. 
They must repent and return with the prodigal son 
before the Father will indulge them so far as to com- 
mand them. Obsecramus, monemus et obtcstamur, he 
entreats, admonishes, and earnestly adjures them to 
present themselves at Rome on the Feast of the 
Immaculate Conception, as their forefathers did at 
Lyons and Florence, now more than four hundred 
years ago. 

But the Greek Prelates, in heresy and schism, are 
not invited to take part in the discussions of the 
Council. They are not constituent elements of a 
Council while they remain in their errors. His Holi- 
ness calls them to penance, to be reconciled to the 
Church from which they have gone away, and confess 
the supremacy of St. Peter, and the lawful rule of his 
successor. If they come in any number, no doubt a 
fitting reception would be given them, as Pope 
Eugenius did before in Ferrara and Florence, but they 
would not sit in the Council among the Bishops who 
have kept the Faith. It may be that a place apart 
from the Council might be assigned them, as was done 
in Florence, where they could hear and see, and, if 
they had any difficulties, they might be allowed to 
address the assembled Prelates ; but they would not 
be in the Vatican, any more than they were in 
Florence, members of the Synod before they made 
confession of the Catholic Faith, and submitted them- 
selves and their Churches to the fatherly Supremacy 
of his Holiness "Pius IX. 

In the same way, and for the same end, the Sove- 
reign Pontiff has sent his -messengers to bid other 
guests to the feast : the unhappy sectaries who have 
filled Europe, and who, unlike their Eastern brethren, 


have rid themselves even in appearance of all ecclesi- 
astical fashion. These are invited, not of course to 
become members of the Synod, but rather to consider 
their position, and examine themselves in the light 
which this great Pontifical act throws upon it. They 
are sheep without shepherds even in name. They 
hold principles subversive of obedience, and are care- 
less of all things ; but they are nevertheless lost sheep. 
They are the sheep of the Good Shepherd -that have 
gone astray and lost themselves in the wilderness of 
sin, and the Vicar of Our Lord would willingly bring 
them back, if he could ; so he addresses even them, 
and bids them welcome to the feast, for he has room 
enough and food enough for all, for he is the great 
steward of the House of God. 



Relatumest ergo ad Apostolicam Seclem, Johannem Constantinopolitanum 
episcopum universalem se subscribere, vosque ex hac sua praesumptione 
ad Synodum convocare generalem, cum generalium synodorum convo 
candi auctoritas Apostolioe Sedi beati Petri singular! privilegio sit tra- 
dita, et nulla unquam synodus rata legatur qua? Apostolica auctoritate 
non fuerit fulta. Qua propter quicquid in praxlicto vestro conventiculo 
quia synodus taliter prsesumpta esse non potuit statuistis, ex auctori- 
tate Sancti Petri Apostolorum Principis et Domini Salvatoris voce, qua 
beato Petro potestatem ligandi atque solvendi ipse Salvator dedit, qua? 
etiam potestas in successoribus ejus indubitanter transivit, praecipio 
omnia quce ibi statuistis, et vana et cassata esse, ita ut deinccps nun- 
quam appareant, nee ventilentur. Pelagii ii. Ep. 

A GENERAL Council is not a tumultuous assembly 
J~\. of men coming together of their own will and of 
their own mere motion. The Bishops do not invite 
one another, neither does any one among them take 
upon himself the task of inviting his brethren to meet, 
for none of them have any right or power to do so. 
The Bishops are in one sense independent of each 
other, and for the most part not in subjection to each 
other. A Patriarch may call together the Bishops 
within his patriarchate, and a Metropolitan his suf- 
fragans, but that convocation cannot make a General, 


such assemblies would be no more than Provincial, 
Synods. The Bishops of the whole Church must 
therefore be convoked by one who has authority and 
jurisdiction over them all, for they are not bound to 
respect any other summons. There have been people 
who said that a General Council is to be convoked by 
the Emperor, but the Emperor, whoever he may be, 
has no power to summon Bishops not within his 
territories^ so that on this supposition a General 
Council would never be held. The civil power is in- 
competent for such a work, for one State has no 
authority to summon Bishops living in another State; 
and without entering upon the question of right and 
jurisdiction, it is plain at once that the civil power and 
no State whatever is competent ever practically to 
send out a summons for a General Council. 

As no Council can be General to which all the Pre- 
lates entitled to be summoned have not been sum- 
moned it being clear that a summons can be sent 
forth only by one having the power and the right to 
do it the General Councils must be the work of the 
Pope, for it is he only that has jurisdiction over all the 
Bishops of the Church. Thus a Council, then, cannot be a 
General Council if it has met without the Papal bid- 
ding, and if, under some circumstances, all the Bishops 
did meet, and formed themselves into a Council, their 
acts would be null, unless the Pope consented to them. 
Their assembling together in that way would be illegal, 
and their deliberations wasted ; no act would have any 
authority whatever. On the other hand, if the Pope 
sanctioned the assembly, no matter how it came toge- 
ther, and confirmed their acts, the Synod would 
become lawful. It is not necessary that the Pope 
should be present in person; but it is absolutely- neces- 
sary that his authority should be respected. 

It is absolutely necessary for the legal inception of 
a General Council that it be convoked by the Papal 
authority ; none other can do it, not even the Cardi- 
nals ; nor can the Cardinals do so during the vacancy 
of the Holy See. The right is in the Pontiff alone, 
and can be usurped by none. It is true that in troub- 
lous times, some Cardinals forgetting themselves did 
take upon themselves to do acts which belong to the 


Pontiff, but the judgment of the Church has ever since 
been against them. Thus a General Council is reserved 
for the Pontiff alone ; and from that fact by itself, 
without taking any other into account, we may judge 
of how grave a matter, and how fraught with conse- 
quences, is the convocation of a General Council. It 
is one of those Pontifical acts which are rarely done, 
for which there can be no reasons assigned till the 
time has come, and which can never be foretold, because 
they proceed immediately from the inspirations of the 
Holy Ghost. 

As the Pope alone can call a General Council, so it 
is he alone that can preside over it ; he does so either 
in person, or through his Legates, as he sees fit. When 
he dissolves it, it is ended ; and if the Council should 
persist in sitting after the Papal order for its dissolu- 
tion shall have gone forth, it then becomes an illegal 
and schismatical assembly, suspected of heresy in the 
language of that great lawyer, though a saint, St. 
John Capistran, basiliscorum spelunca dcemonitmque 
catcrva* in allusion to the Council of Basle, the 
Prelates there assembled having rebelled against 
Eugenius IV. There are many assemblies of Prelates 
recorded in the history of the Church, and among 
these are some which have failed in their primary 
duties. They stood up against Moses, and became 
schismatical ; some of them professed heresies ; all of 
them were guilty of schism, because they refused to 
submit themselves to the authority of the Pope, 
without whose countenance they could never be any- 
thing shadows of antipopes, who are always and 
everywhere regarded as the lieutenants of Satan, 
because they have placed themselves in opposition to 
the Vicar of Christ, and sat in the " chair of pestilence." 

At this day there is no one who would seriously 
maintain that a General Council can be convoked by 
any other than the Sovereign Pontiff ; but it has not 
been always so. The change of men's minds, and the 
conversion, if we may so speak, of men accounted 
learned, are in one sense a remarkable testimony to 
the doctrine ever held in Rome. The Popes have 

* S. Joh. a Capistrano, Df AHctoritqte Pafce, par 3, 2clce, n. 68. 


yielded nothing, they have had nothing to recant, no- 
thing to withdraw ; they, at least, always believed Our 
Lord's words, and to the utmost of their power en- 
forced His law. They have had to contend not only 
with the civil power, ever hostile, more or less, but 
with disloyal Prelates, faithless Cardinals, and, most 
grievous trial of all, the faint-heartedness of good men. 
They, always true to themselves as Vicars of God, and 
having always before their eyes, as only Saints could 
have it, the strict discussion of the final judgment, 
maintained, without hesitation or misgiving, the great 
prerogatives with which they are invested. They have 
had the learning of a whole generation arrayed against 
them. Universities and schools invented theories where- 
by their power might be diminished, but they never 
wavered. They kept their place, their dignity and 
power, for these things were not really theirs, but gifts 
of the Most High, graces not to be thrown away. 
Pius IX., perhaps, is the first of the Popes who sees 
his authority over the consciences of the faithful ad- 
mitted without question throughout the whole world. 



Cum igitur in concilio peculiare forum sit, non secretissimum, aut 
poenitentiae, sed publicum, propterea necesse est, ut patres in concilio 
teneant claves non ordiriis sed potestatis, acceptas a Romano Pon- 
tifice : et quamvis Papa soleat has claves nominatim contribuere 
episcopis, quia cum existant suarum ecclesiarum pastores, tenentur 
omni studio procurare, ut salutare ovibus suis pabulum porrigatur, 
tamen integrum habet pro arbitrio suo has claves committere 
Abbatibus, et Praefectis Generalibus Ordinum Regularium, quippe quia 
sunt ipsi quoque Summi Pontificis auctoritate gregum suorum 
Pastores. Immo Papa in manu habet dare has claves iis omnibus, 
quos ad earum usum idoneos cognoverit cum salutari beneficio, atque 
utilitate universalis ecclesise, quamvis illi nequaquam essent initiati 
sacerdotio, quandoquidem hae non sunt claves ordinis sed tantum- 
modo potestatis. Anton. Delphin. de Condi (Ecumen., c. 5. 


HEN the Bishops and others have come 
together in obedience to the Papal Summons, 


they do not proceed, as in secular assemblies, to elect 
their President, nor is it any part of their prerogative 
or duty to do so. The President of the Synod is the 
Pope, and if he cannot be present in person, or, for 
reasons that to him seem good, remains away from 
the assembly, then he appoints one or more persons 
who shall represent him, and preside over the Council 
in his name and by his authority, because the Council 
would cease to be a Council the instant it was for- 
saken by the Pope. The Pontifical power is necessary 
therefore throughout, for the convocation, for the con- 
tinuation, and for the final dissolution of a General 
Council. One of the Canonists has expressed the 
whole doctrine in a few words, terse and clear Con- 
cilium estfactura mamntm Papalium* a Council is the 
work of the Papal hands, and of none other, for the 
calling all the Bishops of the world together can be 
done only by him who has authority over them. 

From this fact flows necessarily the determination 
of the rights and powers of a Council, as well as 
of the character of those who shall be members of 
it, and of the precedence to be given to some in 
it over others. The chief seat therein belongs to the 
Sovereign Pontiff, and the next to the Cardinal 
Bishop of Ostia, Dean of the Sacred College. In 
former ages, the Patriarchs sat next to the Pope, but 
the custom of many centuries has now established 
the right of the Cardinals to sit above all others, 
immediately next to the Pope, being as they are, 
in the language of the law, " members of his body,"t 
and of the highest dignity in the Church. During the 
time in which Bishops looked upon the dignity of 
a Cardinal as less than their own, they declined it, 
especially about the end of the thirteenth, and the 
beginning of the fourteenth, centuries.^: Nevertheless 
in General Councils, such as the first and the second 
of Lyons, the higher place had been assigned to the 
Cardinals, who sat above the Archbishops and 
Bishops. In the fifteenth century, during the time of 

* Barbat. in Clem, de Electione, c. Ne Romani. 
+ Anton, de Butrio, de Privileg., c. Antiqua, Cum sintpars corporis 
% Johan. Andreae, in 6to de Rescriptis, c. Cum 


the Council of Florence, Henry Chicheley, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, made an attempt to deprive 
the Cardinals of their privilege, and, refusing to 
acknowledge the higher rank of the Archbishop of 
York as Cardinal of S. Balbina, carried his complaint 
to Eugenius IV. The Pope issued a Bull, Nou 
mcdiocri, and set the question at rest. Chicheley's 
hands were not clean, even in this, for he had never 
attempted to set himself above Cardinal Beaufort, 
though as Bishop of Winchester that Cardinal was 
one of his Suffragans, and as such had always given 
way to the Archbishop till he was made Cardinal by 
Martin V. The Archbishop of York was, like the 
Bishop of Winchester, a Cardinal Priest, and the 
Pope was naturally surprised, if surprised he could 
be, at these proceedings of Chicheley, who during his 
episcopate was never on the side of the authority 
of the Church, when the State attempted to usurp her 
jurisdiction. Eugenius IV., in the Bull already men- 
tioned, gave a clear decision of the question submitted 
to him, and from that day to this no serious attempt 
has ever been made, except once, to disturb the order 
established, and which was then in force, as the Pope 
showed* by the acts of the two Councils of Lyons 
under Innocent IV. and Gregory X., as well as by the 
order observed in the Council of Florence then sitting, 
over which he presided in person, as the Popes he 
referred, to had presided over the two Councils of 
Lyons. From the time of Clement V. Bishops began 
to be made Cardinal Priests, and the dispute about 
the pre-eminence of the Cardinals became in con- 
sequence of more easy solution, for the Bishops them- 
selves were in practice solving it, by their reversal 
of the policy they had till then observed in relation to 
the higher dignity of the Church. 

After the Cardinals sit the Patriarchs who are not 
Cardinals, then the Archbishops, and the Bishops in 

* Idem in antiquis generalibus conciliis, praesertim in duobus 
Lugdunensibus, in uno, prcesidente Innocentio IV., in altero, Gregorio 
X., quorum adhuc extant acta, usitaturn fuit. Sic et in his synod is 
nostris nostra astate celebratis dequibus etiam apud regnum Anglirc non 
pauci adhuc supersunt testes observation esse palam est, absentibus 
etiam summis Pontificibus. Idem et mine nobis prresidentibus in hoc 
sacro oecumenico servatur Florentine Concilio. 


their order of seniority of consecration, with the excep- 
tion of those Bishops who are assistants of the Ponti- 
fical throne. These Prelates, if the Pope be present 
in person, will sit near him, on his left hand ; and if he 
be absent, will take their places among the other 
bishops. After the Bishops come the mitred Abbots 
having episcopal or gttast-episcopal jurisdiction, with 
the Generals of the Religious Orders, who have all their 
places and their rights duly secured by the law. 

A Bishop unable to attend in person may constitute 
a proxy, who will, however, have no place in the 
General Council ; yet as the representative of the 
absent Prelate, he will have a voice in the discussions, 
but not a voice in the decisions. The Bishops are 
summoned to appear in person, and not by their 
attorneys, and it is a matter of grace to allow a" Bishop, 
even lawfully hindered, to send a priest to represent 
him among his brethren. In a Provincial Council a 
Bishop may appear by his proctor, and if the Council 
think it expedient, that proctor may have also a decisive 
voice,* but it rests with the Council to decide as it may 
please. As to General Councils, the question is settled 
by the authority of the Holy See. It was raised during 
the Council of Trent, and those to whom the exami- 
nation of it was then intrusted were nearly unani- 
mous in refusing every right to the proctors but 
that of being present as spectators. Pius IV. then 
gave his decision, and allowed the representatives of 
the absent Prelates the faculty of expressing their 
opinion, but not the power of a decisive voice.t 

Bishops also not consecrated may enter the Council 

* In the first Synod of Oscott, A.D. 1852, the Bishop of Liverpool, 
unable to be present in person, sent one of his priests as .his proxy, but 
the assembled Fathers allowed him to have no voice in_ the final 
decisions, for they admitted him only to a share in the preliminary con- 
sultation. Admittimus cum voce ddiberativa. 

f Bened. XIV., De Synod, Dioces., lib. iii. c. 12, . 5. Seel cum, 
jubentibus Apostolicis Legatis, singulse discuss^ fuerint a selectis 
sacrorum canonum Peritis, hi fere unanimiter censuenmt, integram 
quidem esse episcopis, legitime absentibus, sups procurators ad _ con- 
cilium mittere, sed procuratoribus, neque decisivam, neque consultivam 
vocem, neque locum in sessionibus, de jure competere. Omnem demum 
controversiam composuit Pius IV. concedendo absentium episcoporum 
procuratoribus votum mere consultivum. Secus est de Conciliis Provin- 
cialibus. C 


if they have been confirmed by the Sovereign Pontiff, 
for they have power to do all acts of a Bishop except- 
ing those for which Orders are necessary ; but they 
will sit below the Prelates who have received the gift 
of consecration. In former times there were occa- 
sionally Bishops who delayed their consecration for 
years, as a Bishop of Lincoln did in the twelfth 
century, who governed that See for seven years, 
though he was not even a priest. Under the present 
discipline of the Church, no Bishop could remain long 
in a Council if not already in the orders of a Bishop, 
because, by the Council of Trent, Sess. 23, cap. 2, he 
would lose his See if unconsecrated for six months. 

But in a Council many more are found than those 
who are strictly members of it ; the Theologians of the 
Prelates are present, and contribute by their wisdom 
and learning to the final decisions of the grave ques- 
tions which are submitted for discussion. 

In former times, too, the secular powers of the earth 
were invited to be present either in person or by ambas- 
sadors ; some of them were intrusted with the duty of 
protecting the Council from hostile attacks, and all 
were permitted to learn what was going on, because 
every Christian has a deep and abiding interest, 
whether he cares for it or not, in all matters apper- 
taining to his eternal salvation. His Holiness 
now reigning is living in evil times, anticipa- 
tions of the great apostasy coming on the 
earth, and has found himself unable to send forth 
the customary invitations to Catholic sovereigns, 
because he could not be sure of them. Anarchic 
doctrines have taken possession of men's minds so 
universally, that it is not possible now to discover a 
single state in Europe that is not governed upon 
theories hostile to the faith. Though the Pope has 
not respected the old tradition of inviting secular 
princes, he has not said nor felt that this is a state of 
things in any way desirable. It is not he who has 
given up the State ; it is the State that has revolted 
from him ; the old days of the Passion have returned ; 
the nations will not have this man to rule over them, 
so they give themselves to Caesar. 

A General Council, then, is an assembly of men 


having authority in the Church ; for if its members 
had no authority its decisions would have no weight, 
other than that we attribute to the opinions of men 
we respect. The convocation of it is an act of 
authority ; for the members are commanded, not 
merely invited, to assemble. The power of Order is 
the same in a Bishop and the Pope, for His Holiness 
can do no act of Order that cannot be done by a 
Bishop. All Bishops throughout the Church, including 
the Sovereign Pontiff himself, are equal in the matter 
of Orders, and so must always remain. The convoca- 
tion of a General Council, therefore, is not made in 
virtue of any authority derived from the sacrament of 
Orders, because of its being equal in all who receive 
it. It is in virtue of his supreme jurisdiction, then, that 
the Pope calls Councils, and not because he is a bishop. 
His act in calling it together is an exercise of his 
supreme authority, which is shared by none, and 
might be made even if he were not in the Orders of a 
Bishop.* The power of Order is not necessary for the 
Pope, who summons, nor for the Prelates, who attend, 
deliberate, and decide ; and thus we have in the con- 
vocation of a General Council another manifestation 
of the distinction that there is between the power of 
order and the power of jurisdiction. We have a 
shadow of this difference in the old law, Moyses et 
Aaron in sacerdotibus ejus. Aaron offered the sacri- 
fices, and performed the duties of the priesthood, 
analogous to those of the power of order in the 
Church, but he was not invested with the power of 
his brother, nor was he the ruler and judge of Israel ; 
the power analogous to that of jurisdiction was vested 
in Moses, not in Aaron, and it was the former, not 
the latter, who convoked the elders and governed the 
people of God, who appointed the judges, and made 
Josue his lieutenant to lead the armies of Israel into 
battle.t Jurisdiction is the power over the mystical 

* Benedict XVI. de Synodo Diocesan., lib i. c. 4, 2. Quod 
nostra interest, illud duntaxat est, nimirum statuere, jus Synodum 
convocandi, non ad Ordinis sed ad jurisdictionis episcopalis potestatem 
pertinere ; quod profecto, semel percepto inter utramque discrimine, 
unusquisque facile deprehendet. 

f Michael de Aninyon, de Unitate Ovilis et Pastoris, c. 27, n. 5- 
Sicut et Petrus fecit in conciliis sicut et Moyses in Lege Veteri. 


body of Christ ; and the power of order has been 
subordinated to it, is directed by it, and dependent on 
it ; if the exercise of the latter were not under the 
control of the former, that exercise would be sinful, 
and the acts thereof sacrilegious. 




Episcopi in concilio universal}, aut sunt oves Christi, aut ovile Christi, 
aut Pastor universalis ecclesiae : non Pastor, nam quomoclo unus 
pastor tot pastores? Quomodo omnes oves Christi traditse sunt Petro, 
si tot sunt ipsi antepositse ? Et quandonam data est illis in Evangelio 
talis potestas pascendi Petrum, ejusque sucessores ? Si autem oves 
aut ovile Christi sunt debent ergo Pontificem totius ovilis Pastorem 
generalem agnoscere pro capite, atque ideo illi subjici, nisi dicant, se 
oves esse sine Pastore, et consequenter nee Christi. Card. Petra, 
' comm. in Pii II. Const. In minoribus. 

IN past ages men's minds were busy about the 
relations of the Council to the Pope, and many 
evils, no doubt, sprung from the contentions and 
disputes : but we are living in a happier age, and in 
this generation it is not probable that any questions 
will be raised touching the nature of that jurisdiction 
which belongs to a General Council. All Catholics 
now agree that the Pope alone can convoke a univer- 
sal synod, and that the confirmation of its decrees by 
the Pope is necessary to their validity. There have 
been grave scandals, for Bishops, Abbots, and simple 
priests, have met together before now, called them- 
selves a General Council, and pretended to impose 
their will upon the Sovereign Pontiff and his faithful 
subjects. This has passed away, and we are now 
living in the full light of the Catholic doctrine on the 
sovereign authority of the Holy See. 

Those doctors who formerly contended for the 
superiority of a General Council over the Pope, held 
also that the Council received its powers immediately 
from God, and was therefore supreme over all powers 
in the Church. The Pope was said to be bound by 
its decisions, and its canons, in consequence, were 


beyond his power to modify or dispense with. This 
doctrine may be resolved ultimately into the opinion 
which some of its professors held on the ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction: namely, that it was vested in the Church 
diffusive. Therefore when all the Prelates, or a 
majority of them, met together in General Council, 
their united jurisdiction, so to speak, was held to 
prevail over all, and their decisions were to be binding 
even on the Pope. But none of the professors of this 
theory ever explained how the Bishops could have 
had jurisdiction out of their own dioceses, and over 
persons never committed to their rule, for no Bishop, 
other than the Pope, ever pretended to have any 
jurisdiction whatever over the Roman Church. 

It is probable that the maintainers of this opinion 
were misled by unconsciously arguing from the powers 
of a Provincial Council to those of a General Council. 
A Provincial Synod is convoked by the Archbishop or 
Primate, who is himself bound by the decision arrived 
at by the majority of the Bishops present in it. The 
Provincial Council cannot be dissolved by the Arch- 
bishop at his own pleasure without the assent of his 
suffragans, for the members of a Provincial Synod are 
more on an equality one with another, than are the 
Bishops of the whole Church assembled in a General 
Council by the Pope.* But be the grounds of the 
opinion whatever they may be, much evil arose out of 
it, and was fostered by it while it prevailed ; now it 
has disappeared from the schools, as it has from the 
minds of the faithful at large, if ever it had any home 
in men's hearts who were not by the necessity of their 
unhappy position driven to defend it, or to abstain 
from attacking it. 

A General Council is an assembly that has no like- 
ness on earth ; no senate or parliament resembles it ; 
judges in their courts, deliberating and deciding, are 
not an image, even faintly, of it ; learned doctors in 
the congregations of their universities, disputing and 
determining questions of theology, furnish us with no 

* Fagnan. in Cap. Sicnt Olim. de Accusationibus. Cum qusereretur, 
an Archiepiscopus solus justis de causis posset absque aliis Episcopis 
dissolvere concilium, S. Congregatio censuit non posse, nisi de consilip 
et assensu Co-Episcoporum, 


shadows of the great congregation of the Church. 
That is wholly a supernatural assembly, using super- 
natural means for the attainment of supernatural ends. 

Senates and parliaments and courts of law and 
faculties of theology come together at stated seasons, 
not so the Councils of the Church ; these are sum- 
moned at the will of one man, who is not accountable 
to men for his acts, and who, so far as we can see, 
may convoke, or not convoke, them at his own absolute 
pleasure. All human assemblies together can never 
reach the rank and dignity of a Council, still less at- 
tain to its powers ; and though it be now admitted that 
it has not, and never had, certain powers claimed for it 
in former ages, it is plain that it must have some 
authority, for otherwise there could be no visible reason 
for its convocation. 

Many questions once hotly disputed may now be 
pretermitted altogether, such as the infallibility attri- 
buted to a Council as such ; that opinion is, in our 
day, abandoned, for it is clear that a Council alone, 
without the Pope, has no authority to bind the Church, 
whereas an infallible authority would certainly bind 
her. Once too it was debated, and by some main- 
tained in the affirmative, whether a General Council 
could depose the Sovereign Pontiff. In the strange 
evolutions of that notion it came to pass that many 
learned men, apparently out of human respect, held 
that a Council could depose the Pope for heresy ; but 
as they disliked the opinion while they held it, they 
escaped from the consequences of it by saying that the 
case had never occurred.* Others maintained, and 
they have the common law on their side, that as the 
Pope is higher than all Bishops, none of them could 
have jurisdiction over him ; and moreover, he could not 
submit to their jurisdiction voluntarily, because his 
power is a Divine gift. In this country the opinion 

* Fagnan. in C. Significasti de Elect. Sed quidquid sit de veritate 
utrinoque opinionis, illud certum est, hunc casum in Ecclesia divinae 
gratise pnesidio nunquam hactenus contigisse, ut fatentur omnes. Suarez 
de Legg. , iv. 8, 10. Ad tertiam de Summo Pontifice possimus re- 
spondere, negando posse dari talem eventum juxta opinionem asserentem 
Pontificem Romanum ex divino privilegio non posse errare in fide, etiam 
tit particularem personam qiiam opinionem probabiliter defendant aliqui, 
vindicando ab hac nota omnesj Pontifices qui hactenus praecesserant. 


of the infallibility of General Councils seems not to 
have been accepted, at least in the first centuries after 
the Conquest, for the Bishops maintained that they 
were not all bound, to attend General Councils, and 
that it was enough for them if four of the English pre- 
lates attended.* It is not credible that in those 
days any were found, at least among the English 
Bishops, who held the infallibility of a General Council 
or its supremacy over the Pope ; for if they did, they 
would not have been so eager to absent themselves. 

But the Council has nevertheless a great and high 
authority, though not what has been claimed for it. 
To define the nature and extent of that authority may 
be difficult, and perhaps the best "way, and therefore 
the safest, of ascertaining in some degree what 
the powers of a General Council are, is to ascer- 
tain, first of all, whence it derives its high juris- 
diction. There have been two opinions on this 
point, both eagerly maintained, and which have made 
men forget two others, which never were long popular. 
Of these latter, one is, that the Councils derived their 
jurisdiction or powers from the State ; the other from 
the whole body of the Church, which they represented, 
or rather were by the maintainers of that opinion said 
to represent. But the chief opinions were, one, that 
these General Councils derived their authority imme- 
diately from God; and the other, that their jurisdiction 
was derived from the Pope. These two opinions were 
long and keenly debated : the first belongs to the 
Gallicans, the other is held in Rome. Those who held 
that a General Council is above the Pope were com- 
pelled to hold, in their own defence, that the jurisdiction 
of a Council is divine ; for if they did not, they could 
not possibly compass their ends of subjecting the 
Papal authority to an assembly which is not any por- 
tion of the divine constitution of the Church. The 
doctors of this school expressed themselves with a 

* Hoveden. ad an. 1179, p. 582. Episcopi autem Anglic constanter 
asseruerunt quod ad Concilium Generale Domini Papae quatuor Epis- 
copi de Anglia tantum Romam mittendi sunt. This was the Eleventh 
General Council and the third of the Lateran. The Bishops also had 
excused themselves from attending the previous Council of the Lateran 
under Innocent II. in 1139. V. Gesta, Abbatum S, Albani, vol. i. p. 104. 


clearness that could not be mistaken, and, apparently, 
were not disturbed by the certain dangers involved in 
the practice of their doctrine.* Of the same character, 
and held in the same school, were those opinions, name- 
ly, that appeals might be carried from the Sovereign 
Pontiff to a General Council, and that people might 
appeal to a future General Council, and that the Pope 
might be called upon to justify his acts before the 
Prelates, who had no authority in fact, other than that 
they receive from him. These opinions, though on the 
surface favourable to the authority of General Councils, 
are in reality utterly fatal to them ; for no Pope would 
ever summon a General Council, because he would 
thereby raise a power above himself and beyond his 
control. The doctors who thus taught furnished, in 
reality, an answer to their own opinions, for while they 
held the superiority of a Council over the Pope, they 
admitted that the opinion was never heard of before 
the Council of Constance. They were also hampered 
by another objection ; that the constitution of the 
Church upon their view of it was imperfect, for there 
is no provision in the Christian religion for the convo- 
cation of Councils, whereas it is otherwise with the 
Papacy, which is one of its most prominent doctrines ; 
they unconsciously admitted this objection to be un- 
answerable, for they made a decree that two General 
Councils should be held within twelve years of the 
close of the Council of Constance, and then one every 
ten years for ever after.t The anarchy into which 
learned men had fallen in those days was not got rid 
of for many years afterwards, and the jealousy with 
which they regarded the Pontifical jurisdiction served 
as an excuse for kings and their ministers in their 
disastrous inroads upon the ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
throughout Europe. 

A General Council held in Rome can scarcely be 
supposed by any one to possess any authority over 
the Pope, in whose diocese it assembles. If it met 

* Almain de Authorit. Ecclesise et Concilii, c. 8. Sed postquam con- 
cilia generalia sunt authoritate Papce vel aliler congregata, turn non 
habent suam authoritatem a Papa sed immediate a Christo, et illi po- 
testati subjicitur summus Pontifex, sicut minister dominae. 

t Concil. Const., Sess. 39, cap. Frequens, 


anywhere else, it could not be held that it superseded 
the local Bishop. A Bishop who enters the diocese of 
one of his brethren respects the jurisdiction of his 
brother ; all Bishops always do so, and it is impossible 
to maintain that a hundred Bishops could do collec- 
tively what not one of them can do separately. The 
assembling together of a thousand Bishops in one 
cathedral city would not deprive the local Bishop of 
his right, merely because they were so many, or be- 
cause they were met together in his city. But if the 
Bishops were assembled in that city by authority and 
commandment of the Pope, they would have authority, 
whatever that authority might be, and would be in a 
different condition from that in which they would be 
if they had come together of their own will, or at the 
invitation of the State, or of one of themselves. 

The Bishops are in the Council judges ; they have 
a great authority, as is confessed by all ; but their 
authority as members of the .Council must come to 
them from some other source than from the fact of 
their meeting, because none of them have any authority 
out of their own dioceses. The Pope is the supreme 
Bishop ; he convokes the Council, and it must be-from 
him that the members of it derive their jurisdiction.* 
The power of the Sovereign Pontiff is manifested, as it 
were, anew, and the Prelates of Holy Church are 
elevated to a higher position, and discharge grander 
functions, because they are now sitting together as 
the assessors and councillors of the supreme judge.t 

* Card. Jacobat. de Conciliis, lib. ii. art 2, n. 72. Episcopi exis- 
tentes in Concilio recipiunt jurisdictionem omnes in genere a Papa, et 
non ratione alicujus particularis ecclesiae. 

i- Bened. XIV. de Synodo, lib. xiii., c. 2, 3. Ex eo porro quod 
episcopi in Concilio generali sint veri judices, cave, ne inferas, teneri 
Romanum Pontificem in ferenda sententia majorem partem judicum 
sequi, eorumque doctrinam opprobare. 





Cum etiam solum Romanum Pontificem pro tern pore existentem, tan- 
quam auctoritatem super omnia concilia habentem, tarn conciliorum 
indicendorum, transferendorum ac dissolvendorum plenum jus et 
potestatem habere, nedum ex sacrse scripturse testimonio, dictis sanc- 
torem Patrum ac aliorum Romanorum Pontificum etiam preedeces- 
sorum nostrorum, sacrorumque canonum decretis, sed propria etiam 
eorundem conciliorum confessione manifeste constet. Pastor tefernus, 
Leo. x. 

T])ISHOPS assembled in Council being subjects of 
_3 the Pope, and even in that venerable congrega- 
tion receiving from him the high jurisdiction which 
they wield, exercise all their powers as children of the 
Church their mother, though they are at the same 
time rulers of the chosen people of God. They are 
under the law of charity, for it is not their own 
interests, not even the interests of their own dioceses 
exclusively, that they are seeking. They are de- 
liberating on the affairs of the whole Church, and 
their end is the greater glory of God. They differ 
herein from secular assemblies, and in degree from all 
ecclesiastical convocations whatever, because it is not 
the particular good of a province, or of an order, but 
the good of the whole Church throughout the world, 
that occupies their attention. They come together at 
the call of the Chief Shepherd, and remain together 
under his care and direction, helping him, even 
encouraging him, if need be, in the bearing of his 
great burden. At this day the old questions will not 
arise about conflicting opinions in the Council ; for 
the former controversies are gone to their rest touching 
the value of the decisions arrived at by the Bishops, 
being unanimous, and by the Pope -alone on the other 
side. These, with many others of the like nature, have 
disappeared, for even learned men have given up their 
prejudices with the traditions of their schools, for the 
simpler teaching which makes the Church our mother, 


and all the faithful little children listening to the 
voice of St. Peter.* 

While men regarded Councils as mere human assem- 
blies for those really did so who- insisted on their 
frequent convocations, in spite of their notion that the 
Council on its assembling together received its jurisdic- 
tion from God it was very natural that they should 
attempt to make the Pope himself subject to its au- 
thority. They thought it unreasonable that the 
Bishops of the whole Church, sitting as judges in 
Council, should not have the plenary powers of a 
Council, if they were all of one mind, though the 
Pope was of another. But their objection to the 
doctrine which Cardinal Petra calls communis et in- 
concnssa, rested really on a false theory of the Church ; 
they may never have confessed even to themselves that 
they held that false theory, but it is plain that they 
held it, for without it they could not have held their 
positions. That theory seems to have been that the 
Pope was only the first in rank among his brethren, 
and not supreme over them. Having that notion in 
their minds, they regarded a General Council, even one 
presided over by the Pope in person, as an assembly 
of men of equal power, and one in which, as in all 
other assemblies, the majority ought to bear sway. 
But the Pope in a General Council is still the Pope, 
for he never ceases to be the Pope from the moment 
of his election till his resignation or death, and is there- 
fore sovereign. He is not simply the President of the 
Council, but he is the Pope ; and he is there as the 
Pope, and not as the ordinary President of ordinary 
assemblies. The whole authority resides really in 
himself, for though he communicates of his powers to 
the assembled Prelates, yet he does not divest himself 
of his own. Thus in the Council of Florence, after 
the long discussions, the final resolution of the ques- 

* Azor. Inst. Mor. par. 2, lib. iv. c. 13, p. 456. At vera et certa 
scntentia est eorum, qui oppositum tradiderunt, siquidem Romanus 
Pon.ifex est caput ecclesise, et ipsi unum datum est, ut pascat gregem, 
ovile custodiat Christi, fratres confirmet, et tanquam fundamentum 
Ecclesiam sustineat ; ergo est majoris ponderis auctoritas Roman! Ponti- 
ficis, ut ei sit adheerendum potius quam generali concilio secus sentienti. 
Petro enim, ejus successoribus data est potestas, quas ad fidem quseque 
ad mores pertinent, detiniendi alligandi et solvendi. 


tions discussed came from the Pope alone : " Ego Eu- 
genius Catholicse ecclesiae'Episcopus ita definicns sub- 
scripsi." The definition was the act of the Sovereign 
Pontiff; all the Prelates Cardinals, Patriarchs, and 
Bishops of both rites, accepted the definition, but not 
one of them used any word equivalent to " define " ; 
they only " subscribed" their names. John Palaeologus 
the Greek Emperor himself, though ruling his own 
Bishops till that day, did no more than the rest ; he 
simply " subscribed." 

Thus the supreme jurisdiction of the Church never 
passes away from the Supreme Pontiff, and does not 
vest even in a General Council. The Government of the 
Church remains what Our Lord made it in the begin- 
ning, and cannot be changed, because it is divine. 
The Council's authority is great, and they will most 
magnify it, and most respect it, who think most of his 
authority who convokes it.* The reception of the 
Council of Trent was contested in those countries 
where the notion prevailed that a General Council 
was above the Pope, and least disputed there, or 
rather not disputed, where the supremacy of the Holy 
See was loyally maintained. In a word, the greatest 
enemies of General Councils are those who unduly 
magnify their authority, and derogate from the au- 
thority of the Pope. 

When the Council shall have deliberated, and 
fashioned the decrees to which the Prelates assent by 
signing their names, its work is done. It has no power 
to publish the decrees, still less to make them laws of 
the Church. If the Pontiff be present in the Council, 
and signs them himself, they become laws before the 
Prelates testify their assent in writing ; and if he be 
absent in person, they must have his sanction and 
confirmation before they acquire any binding force on 
the consciences of the faithful. The reason assigned 
for this lies in the fact that the gift of infallibility is not 
communicated to the Council, but abides in the Pope,t 

* F. Faber. Blessed Sacrament, book i. p. 35, 3rd Edit. " Every 
word of that queen of Councils, the blessed and glorious assembly of 
Trent, is more precious to us than a mine of gold. " 

+ Fagnan. in cap. Mejores, de Baptismo. At infallibilitas in determi- 
nationibus non est hujusmodi [/. e. alteri delegabilis] quia fuit.divinitus 
collata ipsi Petro, et ex Petri persona illius successoribus. 


who is even then, while the Council is sitting, the 
Chief Shepherd of the sheep. Those who maintained 
that the gift of infallible teaching is given to the 
whole Church, were really unable, though they 
attempted, to maintain that the decrees of a Council, 
before the Pope has allowed them, are infallible truth, 
and of certain obligation,* because the whole Church 
has not given her voice in the Council, and because it 
cannot be proved, contrary to the visible fact, that 
the Bishops in Councils are delegates of the Church at 
large. The Bishops, being delegates of none, cannot 
have any authority from those below them ; they are 
not deputies sent, but rather princes summoned by 
their sovereign Lord, to give their own counsel, and 
not to deliver instructions given them by their sup- 
posed constituents, of whom they are the supposed 

Innocent IH.t has determined the question, in the 
Decretal Majores Ecclesice, according to which all the 
greater questions, especially matters of faith, are to be 
referred to the supreme Pontiff;^: and since the Council 
of Trent the question can never be raised again ; for 
there the assembled Fathers resolved in their last 
session that the definitions and decrees of the Council 
should be sent to the Pope for confirmation ; and no 
future Council is likely to transgress the bounds of the 

* Azor. ibid, col. 457. Parisienses doctores negant generale Con- 
cilium ulla indigere Rom. Pontificis confirmatione. At enim concilia 
hactenus celebrata, Romani Pontificis confirmationem postularunt, et ab 
eo confirmata sunt, quotquot mine in Ecclesia Concilia auctoritatem 
habent. The two Dominicans, Francis a Victoria and Dominic Soto, 
the first in his Relect. 2da. de Potestate Ecclesise ; the second in his 
Commentaries on the 4th Book of the Sentences, Disp. 20, art. 4, qu. i., 
seem to say that the confirmation of a Council is not necessary, but the 
opinion is not held now. 

f De Baptismo, cap. Majores. Majores ecclesia causas, pnesertim 
articulos fidei contingentes, ad Petri sedem referendas intelligit, qui 
eum quserenti Domino, quern discipuli dicerent ipsum esse, respondisse 
notabat : Tu es Christus filius Dei vivi, et pro eo Dominum exorasse, ne 
deficiat fide?- ejus. 

% Bull Pii IV. Benedidus Dens. Quum autem ipsa sancta synodus 
pro sua erga Sedem Apostolicam reverentia, antiquorum etiam concilio- 
runi vestigiis inhaerens, clecretorum suorum omnium .... con- 
firmationem a Nobis petierit, decreto de ea re in publica sessione facto, 
Nos . liodie confirmavimus. 


Fathers by neglecting to submit all their acts to the 
sovereign revision of the Holy See. 

A General Council, then, is called together by the 
Pope, deliberates under his direction and in subordi- 
nation to him, and finally submits to him, as the 
"Father and Teacher of all Christians," the decisions at 
which it may have arrived.* It is a manifestation of 
the visible unity of the Church, and a jubilee of 
brotherly love. The elders of Israel were not dele- 
gates of the people, nor did they derive their authority 
from those over whom they ruled, and whose difficult 
questions they determined in judgment. They had 
been appointed by Moses, and it was with " the spirit 
of Moses," de spiritu qui erat in Moyse, that God filled 
them to fit them for their work. They were admitted 
to a share in the responsibilities and anxieties of 
Moses, but not to the fulness of his powers. When the 
judges of Israel were unequal to the task assigned 
them, and questions arose which were too hard for 
them to solve, they brought them before the sovereign 
judge : quicquid autem gravius erat, referebant ad cum, 
faciliora tantummodo judicantes. What was thus be- 
gun by Moses was made a law in Israel, and the 
people went up to the place which God had chosen, 
and to the priests of the Levitical race, and to the 
judge then living. It is the same in the Church : the 
difficult questions of the people of God are carried up 
to the Eternal City, which God has chosen for the seat 
of His visible rule, and to the sovereign judge there 
sitting, the Vicar of Him who is a priest for ever after 
the order of Melchisedech, and who unites in his own 
person the jurisdiction of Moses and the order of 
Aaron, but in both is greater than Moses and Aaron, 
for to him have been intrusted the keys of the king- 

* Gonzalez in ii. Sent. disp. 3, n. 370. Statuta facta a concilio 
legitime congregate sunt conditionata, " si Sanctissimo placuerit, " et 
nullam vim obligendi habent antequam a Summo Pontifice accipiant 
confirmationem et robur. Turn etiam quia hoc ipsum probat constans 
traditio, qua constat, concilia generalia semper postulasse confirma- 
tionem a Summo Pontifice, et novissime Cone. Trid., Sess. 25, in fine 
censuit petendam confirmationem per legates, quam et obtinuit. Con- 
cilia vero generalia, etsi authoritate Summi Pontificis congregata, si 
tamen conformationem non obtinuerunt a Papa, nee vim obligandi 
habent, nee inter legitima recensentur, et sunt exposita erroribus in 
perniciem ecclesise. 


dom of Heaven,* and from whom no power on earth 
can take them. 






THE Sovereign Pontiff has long entertained the 
desire to hold an CEumenical Council as one of 
the most efficacious remedies that can be applied to 
the evils which afflict the Church throughout the 
world. H. E. the late Cardinal Wiseman, when in 
Rome in 1863, urged upon the Pope his own view of 
the great blessings which might flow from a Gen- 
eral Council. The Pontiff then replied that the subject 
was occupying his mind, and that he was recommend- 
ing it to God ; but that he feared his own great age 
offered an obstacle to his beginning so anxious and 
laborious an undertaking. The Cardinal felt per- 
suaded that, among other results which would flow 
from the Council, would be the reconciliation to the 
Church of many of the sincere and earnest non- 
Catholics in England who professed not to be able to 
submit themselves to the supremacy of the Pope, but to 
be willing to obey the injunctions of a General Council. 
The life and vigour of the Sovereign Pontiff have been 
wonderfully preserved : the meetings of the Bishops 
in 1854, 1863, and 1867, proved how easily the Bishops 
of the world might be brought together. On the 26th 

* Innocent III., cap. Per Venerabilem. Sane cum Deuteronomium 
lex secunda interpretetur, ex vi vocabuli comprobatur, ut quod ibi 
decernitur, in Novo Testamento debeat observari, locus enim quern 
elegit Dominus, Apostolica Sedes esse cognoscitur. . . . Sunt 
autem Sacerdotes Levitici generis fratres nostri, qui nobis jure Levitico 
in executione sacerdotalis officii coadjutores existunt. Is vero super eos 
sacerdos, sive Judex existit, cui Dominus inquit in Petro, Quodcunque 
ligaveris. . . . Ejus vicarius qui est sacerdos in aeternum secundum 
ordinem Melchisedech. Eugenius IV., Bull. Non mcdiocri. Id 
quod Deuter. 1 7, dicitur . . . cle Summo Pontifice intelligendum 
esse et fratribus ejus, id est, Sanctoe Romance ecclesioe Cardinalibus, qui 
ei jure Levitico in executione sacerdotalis officii coadjutores existunt. 


of June, 1867, the Pope held a Secret Consistory in 
the Vatican, at which were present the Bishops who 
had hastened to Rome for the celebration of the Cen- 
tenary of St. Peter's martyrdom. In this he pro- 
nounced an Allocution, publicly manifesting for the 
first time his desire to hold a Council as a further 
means of dissipating error, propagating Catholic 
truth, and bringing back the enemies of the Church 
into the way of salvation. The five hundred Bishops 
assembled from the four corners of the earth, and now 
surrounding the Pontiff as a crown of glory, answered 
this intimation by declaring with one heart and voice 
their persuasion that the Sovereign Pontiff spoke as 
with the voice of God, and that, under the blessing of 
God, and with the all-powerful intercession of His 
Immaculate Mother, the future Council would in- 
fallibly be a wonderful source of unity, peace, and 
holiness. To this declaration from the Bishops as- 
sembled at the Vatican was soon added the unanimous 
consent of all those Bishops who had been lawfully 
prevented from leaving their Dioceses ; and thus the 
whole Episcopate expressed its desire for the convo- 
cation of a General Council. The address of the as- 
sembled Bishops, which was read to the Pontiff on the 
ist of July, 1867, in the great Hall above the Portico 
of St. Peter's, was replied to in that same place, on 
the same day, by the Sovereign Pontiff. He said that 
their unanimity had filled him with consolation ; and 
their suggestion that the Council should be placed in a 
special manner under the protection of Her whose foot 
from the beginning of the world had crushed the ser- 
pent's head and destroyed all heresies, had but an- 
ticipated his own desire. He therefore there and then 
decreed that the future Council should be placed 
under the august patronage of the Immaculate Virgin 
Mother of God, and that in whatever year it should 
open, it should be on the 8th of December, the Feast 
of Her Immaculate Conception. 

On the 2Qth of June, 1868, the Bull of Indiction of 
the General Council, for the 8th of December, 1869, 
was duly published. Such a narrative as we propose 
to give of the preparation and action of the Council 
would be incomplete unless we printed the text and 


translation of all official documents relating to it. We 
therefore make no further apology, though they are 
not of recent date, for their publication in these 








In perpetual remembrance. 

The Only-Begotten Son of the Eternal Father, be- 
cause of the exceeding charity wherewith He hath 
loved us, and in order that in the fulness of time He 
might deliver the whole human race from the yoke' \of)V " *- 
sin, from slavery to the devil, and from the dan&jie&s - 
of error, by which through the fault of 
parent it had long been miserably oppress^^jicam 
down from His heavenly throne, and, withou'fepjirting 
from His Father's glory, was clothed in - human 
nature from the Immaculate and Most Holy virgin 
Mary. He manifested a doctrine and a rule ''of life 




Aeterni Patris Unigenitus Filius propter nimiam, qua nos dilexit, 
caritatem, ut universum humanum genus a peccati jugo, ac daemonis 
captivitate, et errorum tenebris, quibus primi parentis culpajamcliu 
misere premebatur, in plenitudine temporum vindicaret, de caelesti sede 
descendens, et a paterna gloria non recedens, mor tali bus ex Immacu- 
lata Sanctissimaque Virgine Maria indutus exuviis, doctrinam, ac vivendi 
disciplinam e caelo delatam manifestavit, eamdemque tot admirandis 
operibus testatam fecit, ac semetipsum tradidit pro nobis, oblationcm et 
hostiam -Deo in odorera suavitatis. Antequam vcro, devicta morte, 



brought down by Him from heaven, giving witness to 
the same by many wonderful works, and delivering 
Himself up for us an Oblation and Victim unto God 
in the odour of sweetness. And, having conquered 
death, He ascended triumphant into heaven, to sit at 
the right hand of the Father, having first sent the 
Apostles into the whole world to preach the Gospel 
to every creature. He gave them the power of ruling 
the Church the pillar and ground of the truth which 
had been purchased and established by His blood, 
and which, enriched with heavenly treasures, shows 
to all nations the safe way of salvation and the 
light of true doctrine, and, like to a ship, is so borne 
upon the waves of this present time as, while the world 
perishes, to preserve unhurt all whom she receives 
(S. Max. Serm. 89). But in order that the government 
of that same Church should always proceed rightly 
and in order, and that the whole Christian people 
should ever stand firm in one faith, doctrine, charity, 
and communion, He both promised that He would 
Himself be present with her even to the consummation 
of the world, and also chose one out of all, Peter, 
whom He appointed Prince of the Apostles and His 
Vicar here on earth, and head, foundation, and centre 
of the Church ; that both in the grade of rank and 
honour, and in the amplitude of chief and most full 

triumphans in caelum consessurus ad dexteram Patris conscenderet, 
misit Apostolos in mundum universum, ut praedicarent evangelium cmni 
creaturae, eisque potestatem dedit regendi Ecclesiam suo sanguine ac- 
quisitam, et constitutam, quae est columna, et firmamentutn verilatis, ac 
caelestibus ditata thesauris tutum salutis iter, ac verae doctrinae lucem 
omnibus populis ostendit, et instar navis in altnm sacculi hujus ita natat, 
ut, pwmte nmndo, omnes quos suscipit, servet illaesos (S. Max. Semon. 
89). Ut autem ejusdem Ecclesiae regimsn recte semper, atque ex 
ordine procederei, et omnis christianus populus in una semper fide, 
doctrina, caritate, et commimione persisteret, turn semettpsum perpetuo 
affuturum usque ad consummationem saeculi promisit, turn etiam ex 
omnibus unum selegit Petrum, quern Apostolorum Principem, suumque 
hie in terris Vicarium, Ecclesiaeque caput, fundamentum ac centrum 
constituit, ut cum ordinis et honoris gradu, turn praecipuae, plenis- 
simaeque auctoritatis, potestatis, ac jurisdictionis amplitudine pasceret 
agnos, et oves, confirmaret fratres, universamque regeret Ecclesiam, et 
esset cadi janitor, ac ligandorum, solvendorumque arbiter, wansura etiam 


authority, power, and jurisdiction, he should feed the 
lambs and the sheep, strengthen his brethren, and rule 
the whole Church, and should be the keeper of the gate 
of heaven, and the arbiter of things to be bound and 
loosed, so that the determination of Jiis judgments sliould 
abide hereafter even in heaven. And because the unity 
and integrity of the Church, and the government 
thereof, as established by the same Christ, are for ever 
to remain unchanged, therefore in the Roman Pontiffs, 
successors of Peter, who are placed on this same 
Roman Chair of Peter, the very same supreme power, 
jurisdiction, and primacy, possessed by Peter over the 
whole Church, most fully continues and is in force. 

Therefore the Roman Pontiffs, exercising the power 
and care of feeding the Lord's flock divinely intrusted 
to them by Christ Himself Our Lord in the person of 
Blessed Peter, have never ceased to endure all labours, 
to devise all counsels, in order that from the rising to 
the setting of the sun all peoples, and races, and nations 
might acknowledge the teaching of the Gospel, and, 
walking in the paths of truth and justice, might attain 
eternal life. Known unto all is the unwearied care 
wherewith the Roman Pontiffs have laboured to de- 
fend the deposit of faith, the discipline of the clergy 
and their education in sanctity and learning, and also 
the holiness and dignity of marriage : known also is 

in caelis jiididonim suornm definitione (S. Leo, Serin. II). Et quoniam 
Ecclesiae unitas, et integritas, ejusque regimen ab eodem Christo institutum 
perpetuo stabile permanere debet, iccirco in Romanis Pontificibus Petri 
successoribus, qui in hac eadem Romana Petri Cathedra sunt collocati, 
ipsissima suprema Petri in omnem Ecclesiam potestas, jurisdictio, Pri- 
matus plenissime perseverat, ac viget. 

Itaque Romani Pontifices omnem Dominicum gregem pascendi potes- 
tate et cura ab ipso Christo Domino in persona Beati Petri divinitus 
sibi commissa utentes, nunquam intermiserunt omnes perferre labores, 
omnia suscipere consilia, ut a solis ortu usque ad occasum omnes 
populi, gentes, nationes evangelicam doctrinam agnoscerent, et in veri- 
tatis, ac justitiae viis ambulantes vitam assequerentur aeternam. Omn^s 
autein norunt quibus indefessis curis iidem Romani Pontifices fidei 
depositum, Cleri disciplinam, ejusque sanctam, doctamque institutionem, 
ac matrimonii sanctitatem dignitatemque tutari, et christianam utriusque 
sexus juventutis educationem quotidie magis promovere, et populorum 
religionem, pietatem, morumque hou?:;tatem fovere, ac justitiam de- 


the care wherewith they have endeavoured to promote 
daily more and more the Christian education of the 
youth of both sexes, to cherish the religion, piety, and 
good morals, of the people, to defend justice, and to 
consult for the tranquillity, order, prosperity, and in- 
terests, of civil society itself. 

Nor have the Pontiffs omitted, when they thought it 
seasonable, especially in times of very grave distur- 
bance, and of calamity to our holy religion and to 
civil society, to convoke General Councils ; that com- 
paring counsels and uniting strength with the Bishops 
of the whole Catholic world, whom the Holy Ghost has 
appointed to rule tJie Cliurch of God, they might wisely 
and prudently establish whatsoever might conduce to 
the definition in an especial manner of the dogmas of 
the faith, to put to flight advancing errors, to de- 
fend, illustrate, and develope Catholic doctrine, to 
preserve and reform ecclesiastical discipline, and to 
correct the corrupt morals of the people. 

Now, it is well known and manifest to all by how 
fearful a tempest the Church is at this time shaken, 
and what and how great are the evils with which civil 
society itself is afflicted. By the bitter enemies of God 
and men, the Catholic Church and her saving doctrine 
and venerable power, and the supreme authority of 
this Holy See, have been assailed and trodden under 

fendere, et ipsius civilis societatis tranquillitati, ordini, prosperitati, 
rationibus consulere studuerint. 

Neque omiserunt ipsi Pontifices, ubi opportunum existimarunt, in 
gravissimis praesertim temporum perturbationibus, ac sanctissimae 
nostrae religionis, civilisque societatis calamitatibus generalia convocare 
Concilia, ut cum totius catholici orbis Episcopis, quos Spiritus Sanctus 
posuit regere Ecclesiam Del, collatis consiliis, conjunctisque viribus ea 
omnia provide, sapienterque constituerent, quae ad fidei potissimum 
dogmata dennienda, ad grassantes errores profligandos, ad catholicam 
propugnandam, illustrandam et evolvendam doctrinam, ad ecclesiasti- 
cam tuendam ac reparandam disciplinam, ad corruptos populorum mores 
corrigendos possent conducere. 

Jam vero omnibus compertum, exploratumque est qua orribili tem- 
pestate nunc jactetur Ecclesia, et quibus quantisque malis civilis ipsa 
affligatur societas. Etenim ab acerrimis Dei hominumque hostibus 
catholica Ecclesia, ejusque saltitaris doctrina, et veneranda potestas, ac 
suprema hujus Apostolicae Sedis auctoritas oppugnata, proculcata, et 


foot. All sacred things have been despised ; ecclesias- 
tical possessions have been plundered ; Bishops, and 
most excellent men devoted to the divine ministry, 
and men remarkable for their Catholic spirit, have 
been in every way harassed ; religious communities 
have been destroyed ; impious books of every kind, 
pestilential journals, and most pernicious sects of many 
forms have been on every side spread abroad ; and the 
education of unhappy youth has been almost every- 
where taken away from the clergy, and, what is worse, 
in no few places, committed to the teachers of iniquity 
and error. Hence, to our own extreme grief and that 
of all good men, and with a loss of souls which can 
never be enough deplored, impiety has been so pro- 
pagated, together with corruption of morals, un- 
bridled license, and the contagion of all kinds of de- 
praved opinions, of all vices, and crimes, and violation 
of Divine and human laws, that not only our most 
holy religion, but human society itself, is miserably 
disturbed and afflicted. 

Amidst so great a mass therefore of calamities 
wherewith our heart is overwhelmed, the supreme pas- 
toral ministry divinely intrusted to us requires that we 
more and more put forth our strength to repair the 
ruins of the Church, to procure the salvation of the 
whole flock of Our Lord, and to repress the deadly 

sacra omnia despecta, et ecclesiastica bona direpta, ac Sacrorum 
Antistites, et spectatissimi viri divino ministerio addicti, hominesque 
catholicis sensibus praestantes modis omnibus divexati, et Religiosae 
Familiae extinctae, et impii omnis generis libri, ac pestiferae epheme- 
rides, et multiformes perniciosissimae sectae undique diffusae, et miserae 
juventutis institutio ubique fere a Clero amota, et quod pejus est, non 
paucis in locis iniquitatis, et erroris magistris commissa. Hinc cum 
summo Nostro, et bonorum omnium moerore, et nunquam satis de- 
plorando animarum damno ubique adeo propagata est impietas, 
morumque corruptio, et effrenata licentia, ac pravarum cujusque generis 
opinionum, omniumquevitiorum, et scelerum contagio, divinarum, huma- 
narumque legum violatio, ut non solum sanctissima nostra religio, verum 
etiam humana societas miserandum in modum perturbetur, ae divexetur. 
In tanta igitur calamitatum, quibus cor Nostrum obruitur, mole 
supremum Pastorale ministerium Nobis divinitus commissum exigit, 
ut omnes Nostras magis magisque exeramus vires ad Ecclesiae re- 
parandas ruinas, ad universi Dominici gregis salutem curandam, ad 


attacks and endeavours of those who labour to over- 
throw from the foundation both civil society and, if it 
were ever possible, the Church herself. We indeed, 
by God's help, from the very commencement of our 
supreme Pontificate, have never ceased, according to 
the duty of our most weighty office, to raise our voice 
in many consistorial Allocutions and Apostolic 
Letters ; and unflinchingly to defend with all zeal the 
cause of God and of His Holy Church intrusted to us 
by Christ the Lord ; to defend the rights of this Apos- 
tolic See, and of justice and truth ; to detect the trea- 
cheries of enemies ; to condemn their errors and false 
doctrines ; to proscribe the impious sects, and to watch 
over and provide for the salvation of the Lord's whole 

But treading in the footsteps of our illustrious pre- 
decessors, we have therefore thought it opportune to 
collect into a General Council (as we had long wished) 
all our Venerable Brethren, the Bishops of the whole 
Catholic world, who have been called to a share of 
our solicitude. These Venerable Brethren indeed, in- 
flamed as they are with singular love towards the Ca- 
tholic Church, distinguished for eminent piety and 
loyalty towards us and this Apostolic See, anxious for 
the salvation of souls, excelling in wisdom, knowledge, 
and learning, are together with ourselves grievously 

exitiales eorum impetus conatusque reprimendos, qui ipsam Eccle- 
siam, si fieri unquam posset, et civilem societatem funditus evertere 
connituntur. Nos quidem, Deo auxiliante, vel ab ipso supremi Nostri 
Pontificatus exordio nunquam pro gravissimi Nostri officii debito des- 
titimus pluribus Nostris Consistorialibus Allocutionibus, et Apostolicis 
Litteris Nostram attollere vocem, ac Dei, ejusque sanctae Ecclesiae 
causam Nobis a Christo Domino concreditam omni studio constanter 
defendere, atque hujus Apostolicae Sedis, et justitiae, veritatisque jura 
propugnare, et inimicorum hominum insidias detegere, errores, falsasque 
doctrinas damnare, et impietatis sectas proscribere, ac universi Dominici 
gregis saluti advigilare et consul ere. 

Verum illustribus Praedecessorum Nostrorum vestigiis inhaerentes, 
opportunum propterea esse existimavimus, in Generale Concilium, 
quod jamdiu Nostris erat in votis, cogere omnes Venerabiles Fratres 
totius catholici orbis Sacrorum Antistites, qui in sollicitudinis Nostrae 
pattern vocati sunt. Qui quidem Venerabiles Fratres singular! in 
catholicam Ecclesiam amore incensi, eximiaque erga Nos, et Apostoli- 


afflicted at the most sad condition both of sacred and 
of civil affairs, they have nothing nearer at heart than 
to communicate to us and to combine their counsels, 
and apply salutary remedies to so many calamities. 
For in this (Ecumenical Council all those things are 


to be most accurately weighed and determined which, 
particularly in these painful times, have especial regard 
to the greater glory of God, the integrity of the faith, the 
beauty of divine worship, the eternal salvation of men, 
the discipline as well as the salutary and solid instruc- 
tion of the clergy, secular and regular ; the observance 
of ecclesiastical laws ; the reformation of morals ; the 
Christian education of youth, and the common peace 
and concord of all. Every effort also must be made that, 
by God's good help, all evils may be removed from the 
Church and from civil society ; that unhappy wan- 
derers may be brought back into the straight path of 
truth, justice, and salvation ; that, vices and errors 
being taken away, our august religion and its salutary 
doctrine may receive fresh life over all the earth, and 
increase daily in extent and power ; and that thus 
piety, honour, probity, justice, charity, and all Chris- 
tian virtues may abound and flourish, to the great 
benefit of human society. For no one can deny that 
the power of the Catholic Church, and of her doctrine, 
not only regards men's eternal salvation, but also 

cam hanc Sedem pietate et observantia spectati, ac de animarum salute 
anxii, et sapientia, doctrina, eruditione praestantes, et una Nobiscum 
tristissimam rei cum sacrae turn publicae conditionem maxime dolentes, 
nihil antiquius liabent, quam sua Nobiscum communicare, et conferre 
consilia, ac salutaria, tot calamitatibus adhibere remedia. In Oecu- 
menico enim hoc Concilio ea omnia accuratissime examine sunt per- 
pendenda, ac statuencla quae hisce praesertim asperrimis temporibus 
majorem Dei gloriam, et fidei integritatem, divinique cultus decorem, 
sempiternamque hominum salutem, et utriusque Cleri disciplinam, 
ejusque salutarem, solidamque culturam, atque ecclesiasticarum legum 
observantiam, morumque emendationem, et christianam juventutis in- 
stitutionem, et communem omnium pacem et concordiam in primis 
respiciunt. Atque etiam intentissimo studio curandum est, ut, Deo 
bene juvante, omnia ab Ecclesia, et civili societate amoveantur mala, 
ut miseri errantes ad rectum veritatis, justitiae, salustisque tramitem 
reducantur, ut vitiis, erroribusque eliminatis, augusta nostra religio 
ejusque salutifera doctrina ubique terrarum reviviscat, et quotidie magis 


benefits the temporal welfare of the people ; and that 
it .promotes their true prosperity, order, and tran- 
quillity, and also the progress and solidity of human 
sciences, as the annals of sacred and profane history 
by conspicuous facts clearly show and constantly and 
evidently prove. And since Christ Our Lord wonder- 
fully refreshes, recreates, and consoles us by those 
words, " Where two or three are gathered together in 
My name, there am I in the midst of them," therefore 
we cannot doubt but that in this Council He will 
vouchsafe to be at hand in the abundance of His 
Divine Grace, in order that we may be able to deter- 
mine all those things which appertain in any way to 
the greater advantage of His Church. Having, there- 
fore, in the humility of our heart, poured forth, night 
and day, most fervent prayers to God the Father of 
lights, we have judged that this Council should by all 
means be assembled. 

Wherefore, relying and resting on the authority of 
Almighty God Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, which we 
also exercise on earth, with the counsel and assent of 
our Venerable Brethren the Cardinals of the Holy 
Roman Church, by these Letters we proclaim, an- 
nounce, convoke, and appoint a sacred (Ecumenical 
and General Council to be held in this Holy City of 

propagetur, et dominetur, atque ita pietas, honestas, probitas, justitia, 
caritas omnesque christianae virtutes cum maxima humanae societatig 
utilitate vigeant, et efflorescant. Nemo enim inficiari unquam poterit, 
catholicae Ecclesiae, ejusque doctrinae vim non solum aeternam homi- 
num salutem spectare, verum etiam prodesse temporali populorum bono, 
eorumque verae prosperitati, ordini, ac tranquillitati, et humanarum 
quoque scientiarum progressui ac soliditati, veluti sacrae ac profanac 
historiae annales splendidissimis factis clare aperteque ostendunt, et 
constanter, evidenterque demonstrant. Et quoniam Christus Dominus 
illis verbis Nos mirifice recreat, reficit, et consolatur : Ubi sunt duo vel 
tres congregatiin nomine meo ibi sum in media eorum (Matth. c. xviii.,v. 20) ; 
iccirco dubitare non possumus, quin Ipse in hoc Concilio Nobis in 
abundantia divinae suae gratiae praesto esse velit, quo ea omnia sta- 
tuere possimus, quae ad majorem Ecclesiae suae sanctae utilitatem 
quovis modo pertinent. Ferventissimis igitur ad Deum luminum Patrem 
in humiliate cordis Nostri dies noctesque fusis precibus hoc Concilium 
omnino cogendum esse censuimus. 


Rome, in the coming year one thousand eight hun- 
dred and sixty-nine, in the Vatican Basilica ; to be 
begun on the eighth day of the month of December, 
sacred to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin 
Mary, Mother of God ; to be continued, and by the 
help of God to be completed and finished for His 
glory, and for the salvation of the whole Christian 
people. And we therefore will and command that, 
from every place, all our Venerable Brethren the 
Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops, our Beloved 
Sons the Abbots, and all others to whom by right or 
by privilege power has been granted of sitting in 
General Councils and declaring their opinions therein, 
shall come to this (Ecumenical Council proclaimed 
by us. We require, exhort, admonish, and none the 
less enjoin and strictly command them, by force of 
the oath which they have taken to us and to this 
Holy See, and in virtue of holy obedience, and under 
the penalties ordinarily enacted and proposed by law 
or custom in the celebration of Councils against those 
who do not come, that they be altogether bound to 
be present, and to take part in this Sacred Council, 
unless they happen to be detained by just impedi- 
ment, which nevertheless they will be obliged to 
prove to the Synod through their legitimate proctors. 
And we are borne up by the hope that God, in 

Quamobrem Dei ipsius omnipotentis Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus 
Sancti, ac beatorum ejus Apostolorum Petri et Pauli auctoritate, qua 
Nos quoque in terris fungimur, freti et innixi, de Venerabilium Fratrum 
Nostrorum S. R. E. Cardinalium consilio et assensu, sacrum Oecu- 
menicum et Generale Concilium in hac alma Urbe Nostra Roma futuro 
anno millesimo octingentesimo sexagesimo nono, in Basilica Vaticana 
habendum, ac die octava mensis Decembris Immaculatae Deiparae Vir- 
ginis Mariae Conception! sacra incipiendum, prosequenclum, ac Domino 
adjuvante, ad ipsius gloriam, ad universi Christian! populi salutem 
absolvendum, et perficiendum hisce Litteris indiciums, annuntiamus, 
convocamus et statuimus. Ac proinde volurmts, jubemus, omnes ex 
omnibus locis tarn Venerabiles Fratres Patriarchas,' Archiepiscopos, 
Episcopos, quam Dilectos Filios Abbates, omnesque alios, quibus jure, 
aut privilegio Conciliis Generalibus residendi, et sententias in eis di- 
cendi^facta est potestas, ad hoc Oecumenicum Concilium a Nobis in- 
dictum venire debere, requirentes, hortantes, admonentes, ac nihilo- 
minus eis vi jurisjurandi, quod Nobis, ethuic Sanctae Sedi praestiterunt, 


whose hands are the hearts of men, propitiously 
granting our petitions, will by His unspeakable mercy 
and grace bring it to pass that the supreme gover- 
nors of all nations, and especially Catholic rulers, 
knowing daily more and more that the greatest 
blessings redound to human society from the Catholic 
Church, and that she is the firmest foundation of 
empires and kingdoms, not only will throw no impe- 
diment in the way of our Venerable Brethren the 
Bishops and others above named coming to this 
Council, but will even willingly favour and help, and 
will, as becomes Catholic princes, most studiously 
cooperate in all those things which may tend to the 
greater glory of God and the good of the said 

But in order that these our Letters, and all that is 
contained therein, may come to the knowledge of all 
whom they concern, and that no one' may pretend 
ignorance of them, since perhaps not all to whom 
they ought to be nominally made known can be safely 
reached, we will and command that they shall be 
publicly read in a loud voice, by the Apparitors of 
our Court or by some public notaries, in the Lateran, 
Vatican, and Liberian Patriarchal Basilicas, at a time 
when the multitude of people is wont to come to- 
gether to hear Mass ; and that after the reading of 

ac sanctae obedientiae virtute, et sub poems jure, aut consuetudine in 
celebrationibus Conciliorum adversus non accedentes ferri, et proponi 
solitis, mandantes, arcteque praecipientes, ut ipsimet, nisi forte justo 
detineantur impediment, quod tamen per legitimos procurators Synodo 
probare debebunt, Sacro huic Concilio omnino adesse, et interesse te- 

In earn autem spem erigimus fore, ut Deus, in cujus manu sunt homi- 
num corda, Nostris votis propitius annuens ineffabili sua misericordia et 
gratia efficiat, ut omnes supremi omnium populorum Principes, et Mode- 
ratores praesertim catholici quotidie magis noscentes maxima bona in 
humanam societatem ex catholica Ecclesia redundare, ipsamque, fir- 
missimum esse Imperiorum, Regnorumque fundamentum, non solum 
minime impediant, quominus Venerabiles Fratres Sacrorum Antistites, 
aliique omnes supra commemorati ad hoc Concilium veniant, verum 
etiam ipsis libenter faveant, opemque ferant, et studiosissime, uti decet 
Catholicos Principes, iis cooperentur, quae in majorem Dei gloriam, 
ejusdeinque Concilii bonum cedere queaut. 


the Letters they shall be affixed to the doors of the 
said churches, to the gates of the Apostolic Chancery, 
in the accustomed place in the Campus Florae, and in. 
other usual places : that there, in order that they may 
be read and known by all, they shall for some time 
be left exposed ; and that, when they shall have been 
removed, copies of them shall in the same places 
remain affixed. For, by the aforesaid reading, pub- 
lication, and affixing, we will that all and whomsoever 
these our Letters concern, shall, after the space of 
two months from the publication and affixing of the 
same, be obliged and bound in the same way as if the 
letters had been read in their presence. Also we 
command and decree that to copies taken by public 
notaries or signed by them, and stamped with the 
seal of any person of ecclesiastical dignity, certain and 
undoubted faith be given. 

Let no one therefore infringe this document of our 
indiction, announcement, convocation, statute, decree, 
command, precept, and exhortation, or with rash 
attempt oppose it. But if any one shall attempt to 
do so, let him know that he will incur the indignation 
of Almighty God, and of the Holy Apostles Peter 
and Paul. 

Ut vero Nostrae hae Litterae, et quae in eis continentur ad notitiam 
omnium, quorum oportet, perveniant, neve quis illorum ignorantiae 
excusationem praetendat, cum praesertim etiam non ad omnes eos, qui- 
bus nominatim illae essent intimandae, tutus forsitan pateat accessus, 
volumus, et mandamus, ut in Patriarchalibus Bascilicis Lateranensi, 
Vaticana, et Liberiana, cum ibi multitudo populi ad audiendam rem 
divinam congregari solita est, palam clara voce per Curiae Nostrae cur- 
sores, aut aliquos publicos notarios legantur, lectaeque in valvis dictarum 
Ecclesiarum, itemque Cancelleriae Apostolicae portis, et Campi Florae 
solito loco, et in aliis consuetis locis affigantur, ubi ad lectionem et 
notitiam cunctorum aliquandiu expositae pendeant, cumque inde amove- 
buntur, earum nihilominus exempla in ejusdem locis remaneant amxa. 
Nos enim per hujusmodi lectionem, publicationem, affixionemque, 
omnes, et quoscumque, quos praedictae Nostrae Litterae compre- 
hendunt, post spatium duorum mensium a die Litterarum publica- 
tionis et affixionis ita volumus obligatos esse et adstrictos, ac si ip- 
sismet illae coram lectae et intimatae essent, transumptis quidem earum, 
quae manu publici notarii scripta, aut subscripta, et sigillo personae 
alicujus Ecclesiasticae in dignitate constitutae munita fuerint, ut fides 
certa, et indubitata habeatur, mandamus ac deceruimus. 


Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year 1868 of 
Our Lord's Incarnation, on the third day before the 
calends of July, in the 23rd year of our Pontificate. 

Null! ergo omnino hominum liceat hanc paginam Nostrae indictionis, 
annuntiationis, convocationis, statui, decreti, mandati, praecepti, et 
obsecrationis infringere, vel ei ausu temerario contraire. Si quis autem 
hoc attentare praesumpserit, indignationem Omnipotentis- Dei, ac 
Beatorum Petri et Pauli Apostolorum ejus se noverit incursurum. 

Datum Romae apud Sanctum Petrum Anno Incamationis Domi- 
nicae millesimo octingentesimo sexagesimo octavo, tertio kalendas 
Julias. Pontificatus Nostri Anno Vicsimotertio 


Loco |* Signi 
^ Ego Marius Episc. Ostiensis et Veliternus Card. Decanus Mattel 


*% Ego Constantinus Episc. Portuen. et S. Rufinae Card. Patrizi. 
% Ego Aloisius Episc. Praenestinus Card. Amat S. R. E. Vice- 

4* Ego Nicolaus Episc. Tusculanus Card. Paracciani Clarelli a Secretis 


%< Ego Camillus Episc. Albanus Card. Di Pietro. 
%* Ego Carolus Augustus Episc. Sabinensis Card, de Reisach. 
^ Ego Philippus Tit. S. Laurentii in Lucina Proto-Presb. Card, de 

Angelis Archiep. Firmanus, et S. R. E. Camerarius. 
J Ego Fabius Maria Tit. S. Stephani in Monte Coelio Presb. Card. 


^ Ego Alexander Tit. S. Susannae Presb. Card. Barnabo. 
^ Ego Joseph Tit. S. Mariae in Ara Caeli Presb. Card. Milesi. 
^ Ego Petrus Tit. S. Marci Presb. Card, de Silvestri. 
^ Ego Carolus Tit. S. Mariae de Populo Presb. Card. Sacconi. 
4* Ego Angelus Tit. SS. Andreae et Gregorii in Monte Coelio Presb. 

Card. Quaglia. 

^ Ego Fr. Antonius Maria Tit. SS. XII. Apost. Presb. Card. Pane- 
bianco Poenitentiarius Major. 

>f Ego Antoninus Tit. SS. Quatuor Coronator. Presb. Card, de Luca. 
4" Ego Joseph Andreas Tit. S. Hieronymi Illyricorum Presb. Card. 


Ego Joannes Bapt. Tit. S. Callixti Presb. Card. Pitra. 
Ego Fr. Philippus Maria Tit. S. Xysti Presb. Card. Guidi Arckiep. 

% Ego Gustavus Tit. S, Mariae in Transpontina Presb. Card. d'Ho- 

% Ego Aloisius Tit. S. Laurentii in Pane Perna Presb. Card. Bilio. 

Ego Lucianus Tit. S. Pudentianae Presb. Card. Bonaparte, 
h Ego Joseph Tit. SS. Marcellini et Petri Presb. Card. Berardi. 
J Ego Raphael Tit SS. Crucis in llierusalem Presb. Card. Monaco. 


On the 8th September, 1868, the Sovereign Pontiff 
issued a Letter of Invitation to all the Bishops of the 
Oriental Rite, who are not in communion with the 
Holy See, inviting them to attend the General 
Council of the Vatican. In doing this he followed 
the example of his predecessors, Gregory X. and 
Eugenius IV. ; the former having invited the Oriental 
schismatics to assist at the Second Council of Lyons, 
and the latter at that of Florence. It is unnecessary 
after what has been said of the constituent members 
of a General Council to do more than point out that 
this Invitation was one of pure charity ; that the 
presence of schismatical Bishops is neither in any 
way necessary to a General Council, nor can it 
possibly add any weight or power to it ; for schis- 
matical Bishops could not take any active part in such 
an assembly, nor be members of it at all, until they had 
first submitted to the Pontiff, re-entered the fold 
out of which they have gone, and acknowledged the 
Head which calls the Council together and presides 
over it in all its deliberations. But in this Letter of 
paternal entreaty the zeal for unity, the charity which 
forgives all things, and humbly condescends to be the 
first to invite a reconciliation between the separated 
Churches of East and West, are made abundantly con- 
spicuous. Though the Church is one and perfect 
in her Divine life and organization, the Sovereign 
Pontiff, acting as the Good Shepherd of all who have 
been baptized into the Fold, has not hesitated to 
go into the wilderness to bring back, if they would, 
those erring sheep who have wandered away from the 
Flock which he so lovingly tends. We here subjoin 
the words of this Invitation, so full of Apostolic 
charity and of desire for unity and salvation : 

f. Ego Jacobus S. Mariae in Via Lata Proto-Diac. Card. Antonelli. 

% Ego Prosper S. Mariae Scalaris Diac. Card. Caterini. 

^ Ego Theodulphus S. Eustacliii Diac. Card. Mertel. 

^ Ego Dominicus S. Mariae in Domnica Diac. Card. Consolini. 

-I- Ego Eduardus SS. Viti et Modesti Diac. Card. Borromeo. 

-P Ego Hannibal S. Mariae in Aquiro Diac. Card. Capalti. 


Loco^fPlumbi Visa de Curia D. BnUi 

Reg. in Secretariat Brevium / 



Having been established by the secret design of 
Divine Providence, without any merits of our own, 
in this lofty Chair, as heir of the most blessed Prince 
of the Apostles, who, according to the prerogative 
granted him by God, is the most firm and solid rock 
on which the Savionr built His Church, and urged 
by the solicitude of the burden which has been placed 
upon us, we most earnestly desire and endeavour 
to extend our cares to all those in every region of the 
world who are called by the Christian name, and 
to draw all within the embraces of our paternal 
charity. For we cannot, without grave danger to our 
soul, neglect any part of that Christian people which, 
having been redeemed by the most precious blood of 
Our Saviour, and brought by the sacred waters of 
baptism into Our Lord's flock, justly claims for itself 
all our vigilance. Therefore, since we should uninter- 
mittingly bestow all our care and thought on pro- 
moting the salvation of all who know and adore 
Christ Jesus, we turn our eyes and paternal mind 
to those Churches which were formerly united in 




Arcano Divinae Providentiae consilio, licet sine ullis meritis Nostris, 
in hac sublimi Cathedra haeredes Beatissimi Apostolorum Principis con- 
stitui, cp\juxta praerogativani sibi a Deo concessam firma et solidissima 
petra est, super quam Salvator Ecclesiam aedificavit (S. Greg. Nyss. 
Laudatio altera S. Steph. Protomart. apud Galland. VI. 600), impositi 
Nobis oneris sollicitudine urgente, ad eos omnes in qualibet terrarum 
Orbis regione degentes, qui christiano nomine censentur, curas Nostras 
extendere, omnesque ad paternae caritatis amplexus excitare vehemen- 
tissime cupimus et conamur. Nee vero absque gravi animae Nostrae 
periculo partem ullam christiani populi negligere possumus, qui pretio- 
sissimo Salvatoris Nostri Sanguine redemptus, et sacris baptismi aquis 
in Dominicum gregem adlectus, omnem sibi vigilantiam Nostram jure 


the bond of unity with this Apostolic See, and 
flourished with so great renown of holiness and of 
heavenly doctrine, producing rich fruits for the glory 
of God and the salvation of souls. These Churches 
are now, to our extreme grief, through the wicked arts 
and machinations of him who in heaven excited 
the first schism, separated and divided from the com- 
munion of the Holy Roman Church which is spread 
throughout the world. 

On this account, at the very beginning of our 
supreme Pontificate, we spoke to you with full affec- 
tion of heart words of peace and charity. And 
although these words did not obtain their most 
desired result, the hope has never left us that our 
humble and fervent prayers will be heard by the most 
merciful and most benign Author of salvation and 
peace, Who wrought salvation in the midst of the earth, 
and Who, the Orient on high, manifestly showed forth 
peace as pleasing to Him and to be accepted by all, and 
announced it at His rising by the ministry of angels to 
men of good-ivill, and while divelling among men both 
taught it by word and preached it by example. 

But at this time when, with the advice of our Ven- 
erable Brethren the Cardinals of the Holy Roman 
Church, we have lately proclaimed and convoked an 

deposcit. Itaque cum in omnium procurandam salutem, qui Christum 
Jesum agnoscunt et adorant, studia omnia, cogitationesque Nostros in- 
desinenter conferre debeamus, oculos Nostros ac paternum animum ad 
istas convertimus Ecclesias, quae olim unitatis vinculo cum hac Apos- 
tolica Sede conglutinatae tanta sanctitatis, caelestisque doctrinae laude 
florebant, uberesque divinae gloriae et animarum salutis fructus edebant, 
nunc vero per nefarias illius artes ac machinationes, qui primum schisma 
excitavit in caelo, a communione Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, quae toto 
orbe diffusa est, sejunctae ac divisae cum summo Nostro moerore 

Hac sane de causa jam ab ipso Supremi Nostri Pontificatus exordio 
Vobis pacis caritatisque verba toto cordis afFectu locuti sumus (Epist. 
ad Orient. In suprema, die 6 Januarii an. 1848). Etsi vero haec Nos- 
tra verba optatissimum minime obtinuerint exitum, tamen nunquam Nos 
deseruit spes fore ut humiles aeque ac ferventes Nostras preces propitius 
exaudire dignetur clementissimus ac benignissimus salutis pacisque 
Auctor, qui operatus est in media terrae salutem, quique oriens ex alto 
pacem sibi acceptam et ab omnibus acceptandam evidenter ostendens, earn 
in ortu suo Angelorum ministerio bonae voluntatis hominibus nunciavit, 


CEcumenical Synod to be celebrated next year in 
Rome, and to begin on the eighth day of the month of 
December, which is sacred to the Immaculate Concep- 
tion of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, we again 
direct our voice to you ; and with the greatest possi- 
ble earnestness of soul we beseech, admonish, and 
pressingly exhort you to come to the said General 
Synod, as your ancestors came to the Second Council 
of Lyons held by our predecessor blessed Gregory X. 
of venerable memory, and to the Council of Florence 
held by Eugenius IX. of happy memory, also our pre- 
decessor ; in order that the conditions of our former 
love may be renewed, and the peace of our fathers 
(that heavenly and salutary gift of Christ which by 
lapse of time has withered) may be once more 
recalled to vigour, after the long-continued cloud of 
grief and the dark and deplorable night of long- 
continued dissension, and so the light of desired union 
may shine brightly upon all. 

And may this be the most happy fruit of benedic- 
tion wherewith Christ Jesus, the Lord and Saviour of 
us all, may console His immaculate and most beloved 
spouse the Catholic Church, and dry up and wipe 
away her tears in this bitter time : that all division 
being removed, voices hitherto at variance may, with 

et inter homines conversatus verbo docuit, praedicavit exemplo (Epist. 
B. Gregorii X. ad Michaelem Palaeologum, Grace. Imper. die 24 Ce- 
lebris an. 1272). 

Jam vero cum nuper de Venerabilium Fratrum Nostrorum S. R. E. 
Cardinalium consilio Oecumenicam Synodum future anno Romae cele- 
brandam, ac die octavo mensis Decembris Immaculatae Deiparae Vir- 
ginis Mariae Conception! sacro incipiendam indixerimus et convocaveri- 
mus, vocem Nostram ad Vos rursus dirigimus, et majore, qua possumus, 
animi Nostri contentione Vos obsecramus, monemus et obtestamur ut 
ad eamdem general em Synodum con venire velitis, quemadmodum 
Majores Vestri convenerunt ad Concilium Lugdunense II., a recol. 
mem. B. Gregorio X. Praedecessore Nostro habitum, et ad Florentinum 
Concilium a fel. record. Eugenio IV., item Decessore Nostro celebra- 
tum, ut dilectionis antiquae legibus renovatis, et Patrum pace, caelesti 
illo ac salutari Christi dono quod tempore exaruit, ad vigorem iterum 
revocata (Epist. LXX., al. CCXX. S. Basilii Magni ad S. Damasum 
Papam), post longam moeroris nebulam et dissidii diuturni atram 
ingratamque caliginem serenum omnibus unionis optatae jubar illucescat 
(Defm. S. Oecum. Synodi Florent. in Bulla Eugenii IV. : LaetciiturCaeli}. 


perfect unity of spirit, join together in the praise 
of God, Who desires not that schism may be among 
us, but has commanded by the voice of the Apostle 
that we should all speak and think alike. Thus 
may continual thanksgivings be ever offered up to the 
Father of Mercies by all His Saints, and especially by 
those most glorious ancient Fathers and Doctors 
of the Eastern Churches, when from heaven they look 
down on the restoration and renewal of that union 
with the Apostolic See, the centre of Catholic truth 
and unity, which they whilst living upon earth laboured 
with every effort and with unwearied toil to cherish, 
and daily to forward more and more both by teaching 
and example, through the love which, diffused in 
their hearts by the Holy Ghost, they had for Him 
Who broke down the wall of division, and who through 
His Blood reconciled all things and brought them into 
peace ; Who willed that the proof of being His disciples 
should consist in unity ; and Whose prayer went forth 
to His Father, " I pray that all may be one, as We 
are One." 

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on the 8th day 
of September in the year 1868, the twenty-third year 
of our Pontificate. 

Atque hie sit jucundissimus benedictionis fructus, quo Christus Jesus 
nostrum omnium Dominus et Redemptor immaculatam ac dilectissimam 
Sponsam suam catholicam Ecclesiam consoletur, ejusque temperet et 
abstergat lacrimas in hac asperitate temporum, ut, omni divisione peni- 
tus sublata, voces antea discrepantes perfecta spiritus unanimitate col- 
laudent Deum, qui non vult schismata esse in nobis, sed ut idem omnes 
dicamus et.sentiamus Apostoli voce praecepit ; immortalesque miseri- 
cordiarum Patri semper agantur gratiae ab omnibus Sanctis suis, ac 
praesertim a gloriosissimis illis Ecclesiarum Orientalium antiquis Patri- 
bus et Doctoribus, cum de caelo prospiciant instauratam ac redintegra- 
tam cum hac Apostolica Sede catholicae veritatis et unitatis centro 
conjuctionem, quam ipsi in terris viventes omnibus studiis atque inde- 
fessis laboribus fovere et magis in dies promovere turn doctrina, turn 
exemplo curarunt, diffusa in eorum cordibus per Spiritum Sanctum 
caritate Illius, qui medium maceriae parietem solvit, ac per Sanguinem 
suum omnia conciliavit et pacavit, qui signum discipulorum suorum in 
unitate esse voluit, et cujus Oratio, ad Patrem porrecta, est : Rogo ut 
omnes unum sint, sicut et Nos unum sumus. 

Datum Romae apud S. Petrum, die 8 Septembris Anno 1868. 

Pontificatus Nostri Anno Vicesimotertio. 



On the 1 3th of September, 1868, the Sovereign 
Pontiff issued another Letter of Invitation to " all 
Protestants and other non-Catholics." Every person 
who has received the Baptism of Christ is thereby 
made a member of that One Church of Christ over 
which His Vicar presides upon earth. He remains 
within the fold of that Church, no matter from whose 
hands he may have received the Sacrament of Baptism, 
until by some act he practically leaves that fold 
by either rejecting its authority or by associating him- 
self with some form of error. Still, though he may 
have forsaken the one faith, or Church of Christ, 
into which by the One Baptism he had been admitted, 
he can never cease to be the subject of that Church, 
however much he may rebel against it, or abjure 
its authority. The fact is irrefragable ; if he has 
received Baptism, he was baptized into the Church of 
Christ. The expression of the Apostle, " One Lord, 
one Faith, and one Baptism," speaks of a radical 
and essential union between God and His Church and 
His Baptism. This Sacrament is the one door of 
admission into the Church, as the Church is the 
divinely-appointed ark of salvation built and governed 
by the Lord. 

The Sovereign Pontiff, then, addressing all those 
baptized persons who are actually separated from him 
either by wilfulness or by the accident of ignorance, 
paternally and affectionately calls them back to 
the obligation they contracted in their Baptism. 
They are still subject to his authority as Vicar of 
Christ and Head of the Church into which they have 
been once admitted ; and the Pontiff urges, as one of 
his motives for addressing them, that he fears to have 
one day to render account to Him Who is our Judge 
if he does not show them, as far as it is in his power 
to do so, the way to attain Eternal Salvation. He 
says, "We address these Letters to all Christians 
separated from us, and we again and again exhort and 
conjure them quickly to return to the one fold of 
Christ." The whole of the Letter is an argument and 
a prayer for unity among all Christians. The Pope 
has not addressed himself in any Letter to heathens, 
atheists, or to the unbaptized. His jurisdiction does 


not extend over them. His Letters have been written 
to those to whom he can speak by right and with 
authority, that is, schismatics and heretics, whether 
formal or material in other words, to all baptized 

The Sovereign Pontiff has, therefore, hereby dis- 
charged his duty of charity towards those Christians 
who have separated from his communion. We may 
confidently appeal to the tenor of his Letters as 
to whether he could have used words more full 
of gentleness, charity, and condescension. He* has 
called them ; it will not be his fault if they do not hear, 
or if hearing they forbear to come. 

In the sixteenth century Luther formally appealed 
from the Bull of Leo X. to a General Council, and 
many of his colleagues invoked the same authority. 
The preamble to the Confession of Augsburg appealed 
to it. But it was then thought that it would be next 
to impossible to assemble a General Council. When 
the Council, however, was finally determined upon 
and convoked, Luther, with his followers, treated its 
pretensions and power with ridicule and contempt, and 
in presence of all the protestations and reiterated 
appeals to a Council made by him, his abettors, and 
his Diets, Melancthon declared, "They never had 
a real intention to abide by a Council." It remains 
now to be seen how far the Protestants of the 
nineteenth century, who have again and again ap- 
pealed to a General Council, resemble their brethren 
in the sixteenth. The following is the Papal docu- 
ment addressed to "all Protestants and other non- 
Catholics " : 


You already know that we having been raised, 



Jam vos omnes noveritis, Nos licet immerentes ad hanc Petri Cathe- 


notwithstanding our unworthiness, to this Chair of 
Peter, and therefore invested by Christ Our Lord 
with the supreme government and guardianship of 
the whole Catholic Church, have judged it seasonable 
to call unto us our Venerable Brethren the Bishops of 
the whole earth, and to unite them together for the cele- 
bration next year of an (Ecumenical Council. We have 
done so in order that, in concert with these our Venerable 
Brethren who are called to share in our cares, we may 
take those steps which maybe opportune and necessary, 
both* for dispelling the darkness of the many noxious 
errors which, to the great loss of souls, everywhere 
and daily prevail, and for establishing and increasing 
daily more and more amongst the Christian people 
entrusted to our watchfulness, the kingdom of true 
Faith, Justice, and the Peace of God. Confidently 
relying on the close ties and most loving union, which, 
in so marked a way, unite to ourselves and to this 
Holy See these our Venerable Brethren, who, through 
all the time of our Supreme Pontificate, have never 
failed to give to ourselves and this Holy See the 
clearest tokens of their love and veneration, we have 
a firm hope that this (Ecumenical Council, summoned 
by us at this time, will produce, by the inspirations of 
Divine Grace, as other General Councils in past ages 

dram evectos, et idcirco supremo universae catholicae Ecclesiae regimi- 
ni et curae ab ipso Christo Domino Nobis divinitus commissae praeposi- 
tos opportunum existimasse, omnes Venerabiles Fratres totius orbis 
Episcopos apud Nos vocare, et in Oecumenicum Concilium futuro anno 
concelebrandum cogere, ut cum eisdem Venerabilibus Fratribus in solli- 
citudinis Nostrae partem vocatis ea omnia consilia suscipere possimus, 
quae magis opportuna, ac necessaria sint, turn ad dissipandas tot pesti- 
ferorum errorum tenebras, qui cum summo animarum damno ubique 
in dies dominantur et debacchantur, turn ad quotidie magis constituen- 
dum, et amplificandum in christianis populis vigilantiae Nostrae con- 
creditis verae fidei, justitiae veraeque Dei pacis regnum. Ac vehemen- 
ter confisi arctissimo et amantissimo conjunctionis foedere, quo Nobis, 
et Apostolicae huic Sedi iidem Venerabiles Fratres mirifice obstricti 
sunt, qui nunquam intermiserunt omni supremi Nostri Pontificatus 
tempore splendidissima erga Nos, et eamdem Sedem fidei, amoris, et 
observantiae testimonia praebere, ea profecto spe nitimur fore ut ve- 
luti praeteritis saeculis alia generalia Concilia, ita etiam praesenti saecu- 
lo Concilium hoc Oecumenicum a Nobis indictum uberes, laetissimosque, 


have done, abundant fruits of benediction, to the 
greater glory of God and the eternal salvation of 

Sustained by this hope, and roused and urged by 
the chanty of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave His 
life for the whole human race, we cannot restrain our- 
selves, on the occasion of the future Council, from 
addressing our Apostolic and paternal words to all 
those who, whilst they know the same Jesus Christ as 
the Redeemer, and glory in the name of Christian, 
yet do not profess the true faith of Christ, nor hold to 
and follow the communion of the Catholic Church. 
And this we do in order to admonish, and conjure, 
and beseech them, with all the warmth of our zeal 
and in all charity, to consider and seriously examine 
whether they follow the path marked out for them by 
Jesus Christ Our Lord, which leads to eternal salva- 
tion. No one can deny or doubt that Jesus Christ 
Himself, in order to apply the fruits of His redemp- . 
tion to all generations of men, built His only Church 
in this world on Peter, that is to say, the Church, 
One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic ; and that He 
gave him all the power necessary to preserve the 
deposit of Faith whole and inviolate, and to teach 
the same Faith to all kindreds, and peoples, and 

divina adspirante gratia, fructus emittat, pro majore Dei gloria, ac sem- 
piterna hominum salute. 

Itaque in hanc spem erecti, ac Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, qui pro 
universi human! generis salute traditi animam suam, caritate excita- 
ti, et compulsi, haud possumus, quin futuri Concilii occasione eos omnes 
Apostolicis, ac paternis Nostris verbis alloquamur, qui etiamsi eumdem 
Christum Jesum veluti Redemptorem agnoscant, et in christiano no- 
mine glorientur, tamen veram Christi fidem haud profitentur, neque 
catholicae Ecclesiae communionem sequuntur. Atque id agimus, ut 
omni studio et caritate eos vel maxime moneamus, exhortemur, et 
obsecremur, ut serio considerare et animadvertere velint, num ipsi viam 
ab eodem Christo Domino praescriptam sectentur, quae ad aeternam 
perducit salutem. Et quiclem nemo innciari, ac dubitare potest, ipsum 
Christum Jesum, ut humanis omnibus generationibus redemptionis suae 
fructus applicaret, suam hie in terris supra Petrum unicam aedificasse 
Ecclesiam, idest unam, sanctam, catholicam, apostolicam, eique neces- 
sariam omnem contulisse potestatem, ut integrum inviolatumque custo- 
diretur fidei depositum, ac eadem fides omnibus populis, gentibus, na- 
tionibus traderetur, ut per baptisma omnes in mysticum suum corpus 


nations ; so that all men might through baptism be- 
come members of His mystical Body ; that the new 
life of grace, without which no one can ever attain to 
life eternal, might always be preserved and perfected 
in them ; and that this Church, which is His mystical 
Body, might always in its own nature remain firm and 
immoveable to the consummation of ages, that it might 
flourish, and supply to all its children all the means 
of salvation. 

Now, whoever will carefully examine and reflect 
upon the condition of the various religious societies 
which are divided amongst themselves, and separated 
from the Catholic Church, which from the days of Our 
Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles has ever exercised, 
by its lawful pastors, and still does exercise, the divine 
power committed to it by this same Lord, will easily 
satisfy himself that none of these societies, either 
singly or altogether, in any way form, or are, that one 
Catholic Church which Our Lord founded and built, 
and which He chose should be in the world ; and that 
he cannot by any means say that these societies are 
members or parts of that Church, since they are visibly 
separated from Catholic unity. 

For such-like societies, being destitute of that living 
authority established by God, which especially teaches 

cooptarentur homines, et in ipsis semper servaretur, ac perficeretur 
ilia nova vita gratiae, sine qua nemo potest unquam aeternam me- 
reri et assequi vitam, utque eadem Ecclesia, quae mysticum suum con- 
stituit corpus, in sua propria natura semper stabilis et immota usque 
ad consummationem saeculi permaneret, vigeret, et omnibus filiis suis 
omnia salutis praesidia suppeditaret, Nunc vero qui accurate conside- 
ret, ac meditetur conditionem, in qua versantur variae, et inter se dis- 
crepantes religiosae societates sejunctae a catholica Ecclesia, quae a 
Christo Domino, ejusque Apostolis sine intermissione per legitimos sa- 
cros suos Pastores semper exercuit, et in praesentia etiam exercet di- 
vinam potestatem sibi ab ipso Domino traditam, vel facile sibi persua- 
dere debebit, neque aliquam peculiarem, neque omnes simul conjunc- 
tas ex eisdem societatibus ullo modo constituere, et esse illam unam 
et catholicam Ecclesiam, quam Christus Dominus aedificavit, constituit, 
et esse voluit, neque membrum, aut partem ejusdem Ecclesiae ullo 
modo dici posse, quandoquidem sunt a catholica unitate visibiliter di- 
visae. Cum enim ejusmodi societates careant viva ilia, et a Deo con- 
stituta auctoritate, qua homines, res fidei, morumque disciplinam 
praesertim docet, eosque dirigit, ac xnoderatur in iis omnibus, quae ad 


men the things of faith and the rule of morals, and 
which guides them in everything that relates to eternal 
life, are always varying in their doctrines ; and this 
change and instability are increasing. Every one can 
easily understand, and clearly and evidently see, that 
this is distinctly opposite to the Church instituted by 
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in which truth must always 
continue firm and inaccessible to change, as a deposit 
given to the Church to be guarded in its integrity, 
and for the guardianship of which the presence and 
aid of the Holy Ghost have been promised to her for 
ever. Every one also knows that from these divergent 
doctrines and opinions, social schisms have had their 
birth, and that these again have generated sects and 
communions without number, which are continually 
spreading, to the great injury of Christian and civil 

Indeed, whoever observes that religion is the foun- 
dation of human society, must perceive and acknow- 
ledge the great influence which this division of prin- 
ciples, this opposition, this strife of religious societies 
amongst themselves, must have on civil society ; and 
with what force the denial of the authority established 
by God, for ruling the persuasions of the human mind 
and directing the actions of men as well in private as 

aeternam salutcm pertinent, turn societates ipsae in suis doctrinis conti- 
nenter variarunt, et haec mobilitas ac instabilitas apud easdem societa- 
tes nunquam cessat. Quisque vel facile intelligit, et clare aperteque 
noscit, id vel maxime adversari Ecclesiae a Christo Domino institutae, 
in qua veritas semper stabilis, nullique unquam immutationi obnoxia 
persistere debet, veluti depositum eidem Ecclesiae traditum integerri- 
me custodiendum, pro cujus custodia Spiritus Sancti praesentia, auxi- 
liumque ipsi Ecclesiae fuit perpetuo promissum. Nemo autem ignorat, 
ex hisce doctrinarum, et opinionum dissidiis socialia quoque oriri schis- 
mata, atque ex his originem habere innumerabiles communiones, et sec- 
tas, quae cum summo christianae, civilisque reipublicae damno niagis 
in dies propagantur. 

Enimvero quicumque religionem veluti humanae societatis fimdamen- 
tum cognoscit, non poterit non agnoscere, et fateri quantam in civi- 
lem societatem vim ejusmodi principiorum, ac religiosarum societatum 
inter se pugnantium divisio, ac discrepantia exercuerit, et quam ve- 
hementer negatio auctoritatis a Deo constitutae ad humani intellectus 
persuasiones regendas, atque ad hominum turn in privata, turn in so- 
cial! vita actiones dirigendas excitaverit, promoverit, et aluerit hos in- 


in social life, has fostered, spread, and supported 
those deplorable changes of times and circumstances, 
and those troubles which at this day overwhelm and 
afflict almost all nations. 

Let all those, then, who do not profess the unity and 
truth of the Catholic Church avail themselves of the 
opportunity of this Council, in which the Catholic 
Church, to which their forefathers belonged, affords a 
new proof of her close unity and her invincible 
vitality ; and let them satisfy the longings of their 
hearts, and liberate themselves from that state in 
which they cannot be assured of their own salvation. 
Let them unceasingly offer fervent prayers to the God 
of Mercy, that He will throw down the wall of sepa- 
ration, that He will scatter the darkness of error, and 
that He will lead them back to the bosom of our 
Holy Mother the Church, in whom their fathers found 
the salutary pastures of life, in whom alone the whole 
doctrine of Jesus Christ is preserved and handed 
down, and the mysteries of heavenly grace dispensed. 

For ourself, to whom the same Christ our Lord has 
entrusted the charge of the supreme Apostolic ministry, 
and who must, therefore, fulfil with the greatest zeal 
all the functions of a good Pastor, and love with a 
paternal love and embrace in our charity all men 

felicissimos rerum, ac temporum motus, et perturbationes, quibus omnes 
fere populi miserandum in modum agitantur, et affliguntur. 

Quamobrem ii omnes, qui Ecdesiae Catholicae imitatem et veritatem 
non tenent (S. August, ep. LXL, al. CCXXIIL), occasionem am- 
plectantur hujus Concilii, quo Ecclesia Catholica, cui eorum Majores 
adscript! erant, novum intimae unitatis, et inexpugnabilis vitalis sui 
roboris exhibet argumentum, ac indigentiis eorum cordis respondentes 
ab eo statu se eripere studeant, in quo de sua propria salute securi esse 
non possunt. Nee desinant ferventissimas Miserationum Domino offerre 
preces, ut divisionis murum disjiciat, errorum caliginem depellat, eosque 
ad sinum Sanctae Matris Ecclesiae reducat, in qua eorum majores salu- 
taria vitae pascua habuere, et in qua solum integra Christi Jesu doctrina 
servatur, traditur, et caelestis gratiae dispensantur mysteria. 

Nos quidem cum ex supremi Apostolici Nostri ministerii officio No- 
bis ab ipso Christo Domino commisso omnes boni pastoris partes stu- 
diosissime explere, et omnes universi terrarum orbis homines paterna 
caritate prosequi, et amplecti debeamus, turn has Nostras ad omnes 
christianos a Nobis sejunctos Litteras damus, quibus eos etiam, atque 
etiam hortamur et obsecramur, ut ad unicum Christi ovile red ire fes- 


wherever dispersed over the earth, we address these 
Letters to all Christians separated from us, and we 
again and again exhort and conjure them to return 
quickly to the one fold of Christ. 

For we ardently desire their salvation in Jesus 
Christ ; and we fear to have one day to render account 
to Him Who is our Judge, if we do not show them and 
prepare for them, as far as is in our power, the way to 
attain to eternal salvation. In all our prayers and sup- 
plications and thanksgiving, we cease not day nor 
night to ask earnestly and humbly for them, of the 
Eternal Pastor of souls, the abundance of light and 
heavenly grace. And since, notwithstanding our un- 
worthiness, we hold the office of His Vicar upon earth, 
with outstretched hands we wait in the most ardent 
desire the return of our erring sons to the 'Catholic 
Church, so that we may receive them most lovingly 
into the House of our Heavenly Father, and may en- 
rich them with His inexhaustible treasures. On this 
longed-for return to the truth and unity of the Ca- 
tholic Church depends the salvation not only of indi- 
viduals, but still more of the whole Christian society ; 
and the whole world cannot enjoy true peace, unless 
there shall be one fold and one shepherd. 

Given at St. Peter's in Rome, the I3th day of Sep- 
tember, 1868, in the twenty-third year of our Pontifi- 

tinent ; quandoquidem eorum in Christo Jesu salutem ex animo sum- 
niopere optamus, ac timemus ne eidem Nostro Judici ratio a Nobis ali- 
quando sit reddenda, nisi, quantum in Nobis est, ipsis ostendamus, et 
muniamus viam ad eamdem aeternam assequendam salutem. In omni 
certe oratione, et obsecratione, cum gratiarum actione nunquam desi- 
stimus dies noctesque pro ipsis caelestium luminum, et gratiarum abun- 
dantiam ab aeterno animarum Pastore humiliter, enixeque exposcere. 
Et quoniam vicariam Ejus hie in terris licet immerito gerimus operam, 
idcirco errantium filioium ad catholicae Ecclesiae reversionem expansis 
manibus ardentissime cxpectamus, ut eos in caelestis Patrts domurn 
amantissime excipere, et inexhaustis ejus thesauris ditare possimus. Ete- 
nim ex hoc optatissimo ad veritatis, et communionis cum catholica Ec- 
clesia reditu non solum singulorum, sed totius etiam christianae so- 
cietatis salus maximc pendet, et universus mundus vera pace perfrui 
non potest, nisi fiat unum ovile, et unus pastor. 

Datum Romae apud S. Petrum, die 13 Septembris, 1868. 

Pontificatus Nostri Anno Vicesimotertio. 







announcement to the Catholic world was 
followed, on the 8th of September, as we have 
already said, by an invitation from the august Pontiff 
to all the Bishops of the Oriental Rite who are not in 
communion with the See of Rome, to attend the 
Vatican Council. In the absence of Monsignor Paolo 
Brunoni, the Vicar Apostolic of Constantinople, his 
Vicar General, the Abate Carlo Testa, was appointed 
by the Pope to be the bearer of his letters to all the 
Oriental Archbishops and Bishops of whatever rite, not 
in communion with Rome, resident within the limits of 
his vicariate. He accordingly began to accomplish his 
mission in the middle of October, 1868. 

Having caused his intended visit to be previously 
announced by two of his priests, the Abate Testa pro- 
ceeded on the appointed day, the i$th of October, 
first to the Greek Patriarch and afterwards to the 
Armenian, accompanied by his Chancellor and two 
other ecclesiastics. On arriving at the Fanar, where 
the Greek Patriarch resides, they were shown into the 
apartment of the Protosyncellos, a personage filling 
an office similar to that of our Vicars-General, who 
received them with the usual Oriental forms. The 
deputation was then admitted to the presence of his 
superior, who behaved in the first instance with 
ordinary civility, addressing to its members a few 
friendly words. The whole scene had been evidently 


preconcerted and prepared. Such politeness as was 
shown was entirely extra-official, and what followed 
was designed to mark that no consideration was 
intended to be expressed by the Patriarch towards his 
visitor in the capacity of Papal delegate. The Ency- 
clical, handsomely bound in red morocco, and bearing 
these words on its frontispiece : " Sanctissimo Pa- 
triarchs Novce Roma Grceci Ritus de mandato Beatis- 
simi Domini Nostri Pii Papce IX. pro Revmo Archie- 
pis copo Vicar io ac Delegate Apostolico C. Testa V. G." 
was now presented. The Patriarch did not touch it, 
but made a sign that the document should be laid on 
the divan, and commenced at once delivering himself 
of a speech in Greek, which the Protosyncellos trans- 
lated in lengthened form into French. This harangue 
appeared a few days later in the public journals, with 
still more copious amplifications. 

The substance of what the Patriarch was under- 
stood to say was as follows : " It is useless for me to 
attend a Council where discussions so frequently 
renewed without effect will, by their resumption, only 
issue in dividing minds still more widely. The 
Oriental Church will never depart from the doctrine 
which it holds from the Apostles, and which was 
transmitted to it by the Holy Fathers and by the 
CEcumenical Councils. It is true that a union was 
brought about at the Council of Florence; but this 
was a resolution imposed by hard political circum- 
stances, and the whole Eastern Church protested 
against it. Our conscience is quite tranquil on the 
subject." The Protosyncellos, besides paraphrasing the 
expressions of his superior at considerable length, 
added certain insulting observations of his own, to the 
effect that the Greek Church cannot recognize either 
the monarchy which the Pope of Rome assumes over 
the Universal Church, his infallibility, or his superiority 
over CEcumenical Councils. When these speeches 
were concluded, the Patriarch signed to the Protosyn- 
cellos, who, already acquainted with the part he had 
to perform, gave back the Encyclical of his Holiness 
to the Latin Vicar, who now took his leave with the 
usual interchange of formal civilities. In future ages, 
when the acts of the Vatican Council shall have 


become matter of history, men will judge whether of 
the two was animated by that charity and zeal for 
union which is according to the will and the Heart of 
Jesus, by comparing the Encyclical of Pius IX. with 
the speech of the Patriarch Gregory, and by contrast- 
ing the behaviour of him who sent a deputation to 
present letters of invitation with that of him who 
not only refused to receive those letters, but seemed to 
dread to contaminate himself by so much as touching 
or looking at them. 

It is undeniable that the schismatic Patriarch made 
upon this occasion but a poor show either of ecclesias- 
tical erudition or theological science, not to speak of 
that common urbanity which might have been 
expected of him under any circumstances. As 
regards the pretended compulsion under which the 
Greek Bishops acted at Florence, when they agreed 
to the union, none other existed but such as truth 
must ever exercise over the will when ignorance and 
misunderstanding have been removed, and passion and 
prejudice are not allowed to interfere. The Oriental 
Bishops professed themselves fully satisfied by the 
answers which the Latins gave to their objections, and 
peace was accordingly concluded with every evidence 
of joy. The Bull of Union, written in Greek and 
Latin, was signed by all the Bishops of the respective 
Churches, Mark of Ephesus alone excepted, who obsti- 
nately persevered in his schism. A circumstance 
which occurred twenty days before the subscription of 
the Bull of Union is worthy of remembrance. John, 
the Patriarch of Constantinople, suddenly died. At this 
unexpected news the Fathers hastened to his dwelling, 
and were told by his servants that in the evening he 
had sat down to write, but that an attack of trembling 
seized him while engaged in the act, and he shortly 
after breathed his last. All were eager to read the 
Patriarch's last recorded thoughts, which he had doubt- 
less committed to paper because he felt the near ap- 
proach of death. And such indeed had been the case. 
These were the words in which he expressed his ad- 
herence to Catholic unity: "John, by the Divine 
mercy Archbishop of Constantinople, the new Rome, 
and CEcumenical Patriarch. Finding myself at the close 


of my life, I desire, through God's goodness, to de- 
clare in this letter my decision to my beloved sons, 
and thereby to fulfil the duty of my office. All those 
things which the Church of ancient Rome, the Church 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Church Catholic and 
Apostolic, believes and teaches, I also profess to hold 
and to believe, and to all of them do I give the fullest 
assent. I profess that the Most Blessed Father of 
Fathers, the Sovereign Pontiff and Pope of ancient 
Rome, is the Vicar of Jesus Christ our Lord, and I 
admit that there is a purgatory for the souls of 
the departed. Given at Florence the 8th of June, 1439." 
" Hard political circumstances " had certainly no 
share in prompting this solemn and cordial confession 
of the dying Patriarch of the Eastern Church. All 
these facts are recorded in history, the Greeks cannot 
deny them, the Bishops who unanimously gave their 
adhesion at the Council never attempted to deny 
them. When, with a few exceptions, they joined 
Mark of Ephesus and relapsed into schism after their 
return to their own country, all they attempted to 
allege was that they had betrayed their faith at 
Florence, and yielded to the violence of the Latins. 
Men who can thus proclaim their infidelity and incon- 
stancy, avow with their own lips that they are persons 
unworthy of credence. Their testimony, by their 
own confession, is good for nothing. 

The Greek Church, which still persists in a state of 
schism, and refuses to recognize the infallibility of the 
Roman Pontiff and his superiority over the Universal 
Church and CEcumenical Councils, ought, in order to 
be consistent, to separate itself also from that multi- 
tude of Fathers and Doctors who lived and died 
in the East in the early centuries, and illustrated it by 
their sanctity and the excellency of their doctrine. 
Suffice it to allude to the 730 Bishops of the Council 
of Chalcedon, who with one united voice exclaimed, 
Petrus per Leonem locutusest. East and West alike 
in those days called the Roman Pontiff their Head 
and Father, and themselves his subjects and his 
children. The slightest acquaintance with history, 
or with the records and tradition of their own Church, 
might be sufficient, therefore, to create uneasiness 


in consciences not wrapped in the imperturbable slumber 
which the present schismatic Patriarch of Constanti- 
nople mistakes for peace. It is the peace of men such 
as those to whom Jeremiah alludes, of men who cry 
Peace, peace, when there is no peace " dicentes Pax> 
pax, et 11011 crat pax? 

Very different was the welcome which the Pontifical 
deputation received from the Armenian Patriarch. 
Two prelates, with veils on their heads, were at the 
door of the Patriarchal residence to meet the Latin 
priests, and to escort them at once, instead of allowing 
them to wait in an antechamber, to the Patriarch's 
presence. When about to kiss his hand he would not 
suffer them to do so, but imprinted on the Latin 
Vicar's forehead the fraternal kiss of peace. He took 
the Pope's letter in his own hand, asked several ques- 
tions concerning its contents and form, as well as with 
reference to the persons who had brought it, appearing 
well satisfied with all the answers given. He then 
said, " Formerly the enemies of Christianity were the 
Gentiles ; now they are bad Christians and unbelievers. 
It is indeed time for all the differences which separate 
us to be removed, that we may all, united in the same 
bond, oppose a barrier to the impiety which is assail- 
ing the Church of Jesus Christ." As for the letter, 
which he willingly received, he replied that it did not 
rest with him whether or no he should act upon the 
invitation, but with the Catholicos of Echmiadzin, to 
whom he exhorted the Fathers to transmit a copy of 
the Pontifical letters. He then invited the Latin 
priests to visit his church, to which act of courtesy 
they considered it their duty to condescend. They 
were then escorted as before to their carriage door. 

Copies of the Encyclical were also sent to all the 
Bishops and Archbishops of the two Patriarchates. 
There is good reason for believing that the Greek 
Patriarch sent express orders to the Bishops subject 
to him to reject and send back the Letters Apostolic, 
as he had done. The subjection in which he holds 
them appears from his own words in the prolix dis- 
course reported or put into his mouth by his Protosyn- 
cellos. In it he says, " The Church of my nation is en- 
tirely represented by me"; a national Church, let it 


be remembered, which numbers more than eighty 
Archbishops, each of whom has some two, three, or 
even as many as five suffragans. From the state of sub- 
serviency to which they are reduced, it might be anti- 
cipated that their answers, generally speaking, would be 
mere echoes of their Patriarch's dictum, the mere re- 
petition of the order transmitted from head-quarters. 
The Metropolitan of Chalcedon sent the Pope's letters 
back, with this laconic reply written upon it : 
Epistrephete ; that is, " Let it be rejected." The Bis- 
hop of Varna declared himself unable to receive 
them, as they had been rejected by his Patriarch. 
The Bishop of Salonica also returned the Apostolic 
letters, but vouchsafed to give five detailed reasons, 
which are worth mentioning for their very futility. 
I. "If I accept the invitation and go to the Council, 
my Patriarch may reprove and punish me"; a reason 
suggested by that bad adviser, fear. 2. "An (Ecu- 
menical Council at Rome ! And why not in any other 
city ? Have not eight General Councils been held in 
the East ? " We might reply by reversing the ques- 
tion, for in whatsoever city the Council' was summoned 
to meet, you might always say, Why not elsewhere ? 
If Councils are always to meet in the same place, you 
must beg the Sultan to raise again the ruins of Isnik, 
the ancient Nicaea, now a poor scattered village, 
chiefly inhabited by Jews. So foolish an objection is 
hardly worthy a serious reply. But why, indeed, 
should the Council be called in the East rather than 
in the West, particularly since its primary object 
does not regard the East ? 3. " The Pope wants to 
get us to Rome, that he may have us under his hand, 
and domineer over us." The Holy Father has in his 
Encyclical expressed his reason for wishing to have 
the Greek and other schismatical Easterns at Rome. 
" Come," he says, " to renew by means of this Council 
that union with the Apostolic See and that concord 
which your most glorious ancient Fathers and 
Doctors laboured to maintain by their strenuous 
and unwearied exertions, and evermore to strengthen 
by their doctrine and example. At the renewal 
of this concord the thick darkness which now sur- 
rounds you will be dissipated, and the heavenly and 


salutary gift of Christ, which has dried up within you 
through the guilt of schism, will flourish anew." With 
the light and life which reunion with the head will re- 
store to these members, liberty of action, of which 
they are now deprived, will also be regained. The 
Pope is therefore seeking the freedom not the en- 
slavement of the Oriental schismatics. 4. " The Pope 
is a king and bears a sword, which is contrary to the 
Gospel. Let him lay aside his sword, and dismiss his 
army, and then we will join him." The Pope's small 
but valiant army does not so much depend on the 
Pope's will as upon the very nature of the office he 
holds as Pastor of the Universal Church. The tem- 
poral dominion, and the army, without which that 
dominion cannot be maintained, are most necessary, 
especially in these unhappy times, to the free exercise 
of the pastoral office of the Roman Pontiff. This is 
not the Holy Father's judgment alone. It is shared 
by Catholics throughout the world, who are persuaded 
that this dominion and this army are the indispen- 
sable conditions of free communication with their 
spiritual head ; which free communication they have 
the right to seek, uphold, and defend, in the name of 
liberty of conscience understood in its rightful sense. 
To have this army dismissed, then, the Bishop must 
not address himself only to the Pope, he must cry out 
to the four winds of heaven and get himself attended 
to if he can. Moreover, we may add that, supposing 
even it were a fault in the Pope to maintain an army, 
that would not remove from the Orientals the guilt of 

But let us follow this Bishop's argument upon his 
own ground, and sift the Scripture text which Protes- 
tants have often urged against the temporal power. 
Is the Pope forbidden by the Gospel to carry a 
sword ? Let us keep to the letter, as the Bishop of 
Salonica does, or professes to do. We answer, cer- 
tainly not. On the contrary, we find Christ allowing 
his Apostles to carry two actual swords ; nay, He had 
said to them, " Qui non habet, vendat tunicam suam, 
et emat gladium He that hath not, let him sell his 
coat, and buy a sword." The Apostles replying that 
they had two, Christ said, " Satis est It is enough." 


Now, whatever that Satis est may have meant, we 
know, at any rate, that the Apostles kept the swords, 
and carried them, and that Christ did not interfere to 
hinder them from so doing. Peter also, we know, 
used one of them against Malchus, and although 
Christ reproved him for having used it, we do not 
read that He blamed him for having carried it. He 
did not say, " Cast away thy sword/' but bade him 
put up his sword into its ' scabbard : Mitte gladium 
tuum in vaginam. There is, then, a sword of sharp 
steel which Christ actually called Peter's sword : gla- 
dium tuum; and this sword he bade him sheath. 
But, it will be urged, He at any rate reproved Peter 
for using it, for it was then that Jesus uttered that 
famous menace, that " all who take the sword shall 
perish with the sword." To this we reply that this 
threat, as all the doctors of the Church agree, and 
as natural reason would also suggest, meant that 
all who rashly, and against the command of God, 
draw the sword, deserve to perish by the sword. 
If the meaning were that all who take the sword 
ipso facto violate God's commands, it is clear that 
the sentence must have a general application, 
and consequently include also secular princes and 
rulers. Now, St. Paul says that the temporal ruler 
bears not the sword in vain ; that is, he bears it to use 
on just and lawful occasions, and no question is raised 
by any one as to this right of the temporal ruler. 
Our obvious conclusion, then, must be that Peter, 
when he wounded Malchus, was rebuked by Christ 
because, having only asked but not obtained his 
Lord's permission, he had drawn and used his sword. 
Besides, at the time when Peter was guilty of this 
error and received this reproof, the supreme Pontifi- 
cate had as yet only been promised, not conferred 
upon the Apostle. The argument, therefore, which 
has been drawn from our Lord's words is inapplicable 
to the case in point, and consequently worthless. 

5. " The Roman Church has added the Filioque to 
the creed. Let that addition be removed, and the 
Greeks will join the Latins." We reply, In the form 
of union subscribed at Florence by all the Bishops, 
Greek as well as Latin, not only was it solemnly 



defined as a dogma of faith that the Holy Ghost pro- 
ceeds eternally from the Father and from the Son, as 
from one principle and by one spiration, but it was 
also defined that, in order to render clear this truth 
of faith, it was lawfully and with good reason ex- 
plained in the creed by the addition of the word 
Filioque. The Greeks, on subscribing these articles, 
declared themselves fully convinced by the arguments 
of the Latins ; all their difficulties being removed, and 
theirmindsperfectlysatisfied bythe evidence laid before 
them of the falsification, through heretical fraud, of all 
those passages in ancient Fathers and codices of 
Councils by which the Greek Church had justified it- 
self in adhering to its error concerning the Procession 
of the Holy Ghost. The Eastern Bishops, although 
by relapsing into schism they again adopted their old 
error, have never brought forward any argument to 
subvert or even controvert the irrefragable evidence 
to which they had yielded their own willing assent at 
the Council of Florence ; an assent confirmed by them 
in the most solemn manner. Let the Bishop of Sa- 
lon ica ponder this fact, and consider with what reason 
he or his co-religionists can make the demand here 
set forth. 

There have not been wanting, however, some con- 
soling exceptions even amongst the schismatical 
Bishops of the Greek Patriarchate. The Bishop of 
Trebizond, a man of venerable age, received the En- 
cyclical of the Holy Father with signs of the deepest 
respect and even affection. He pressed it to his 
bosom ; he kissed it ; he laid it against his forehead ; 
he eagerly inspected it, admiring the form of the 
Latin characters, although he did not understand 
their meaning, from time to time exclaiming : 
" O Rome, O Rome ! O St. Peter, O St. Peter ! " 
Nevertheless, not a word of promise could be ex- 
tracted from him that he would attend the 
Council, though neither did he refuse. May God 
give him grace to lay to heart those words 
of Christ : " Not every one that saith to me 
Lord, Lord, but he that doeth the will of my Father 
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." The Bishop 
of Adrianople sent back the Apostolic letters, but 


said, "I wish to reflect upon the subject for myself, and 
decide for myself." These are very hopeful words ; it 
were much to be wished that there were more amongst 
his body with the courage to think and act for them- 
selves. Were it so, the Holy Father's Encyclical 
would have met with a very different reception. These 
Bishops for the most part, as well as the inferior 
clergy generally, deplore their separation from the 
Western Church, and those alone are utterly in- 
sensible to so great a calamity who belong to an un- 
fortunately increasing class within the bosom of the 
so-called orthodox communion. These are virtually 
Protestants and Rationalists, who have mostly studied 
in the Universities of Germany. W T e know on good 
authority that many of the schismatic Greek Bishops, 
although not bold enough to give an independent 
reply similar to that by which the Bishop of Adrian- 
ople has so honourably distinguished himself, have 
at least dared openly to blame their Patriarch for 
his discourteous refusal, as well as those amongst 
their brethren who have imitated his behaviour. Their 
flocks join in loudly expressing the same sentiments. 
" Our Episcopate," they say, " by refusing to attend 
the (Ecumenical Council, would incline us to think 
that it feels itself unequal to sustain a discussion with 
the Latin Episcopate." 

It is true that now, as ever, there are mischievous 
and interested persons who are continually filling the 
ears of the Greeks with the same old declamations 
against what they call the spiritual tyranny of Rome. 
But it is inconceivable that they should continue to be 
deceived by such language. The demeanour of their 
own Patriarch must, it may be hoped, go far to open 
their eyes as to the real bondage under which their 
own Church is groaning. The gravest of questions, 
the most solemn of propositions, no less than an 
invitation from the Pope to attend a General Council, 
which has been ever recognized in the Church of 
Christ as the sovereign means for maintaining or 
renewing the bond of union, is laid before him, and he 
resolves the matter on his own single authority. Does 
he, then, arrogate to himself that infallibility which he 
dares to deny to the Roman Pontiff? With what 


right does he assume a superiority over the con- 
sciences and opinions of his eighty Archbishops, with 
their hundred and seventy suffragans, and of his entire 
flock, thus disposing of their eternal salvation without 
so much as consulting his synod ? Does history, we 
may ask the Greeks and we trust they will lay the 
question to heart record the example of any one 
single Pope who ever acted after the despotic manner 
of the present schismatical Patriarch of Constan- 
tinople ? 

It pleased God to make use of the Ottoman 
Government to inflict a severe humiliation on the 
schismatic Patriarch of Constantinople upon the very 
day when he contemptuously rejected the overtures of 
the Sovereign Pontiff ; and perhaps God so ordained 
it in order that this haughty prelate might read 
therein, if so be, the chastisement of his inordinate 
pride. Unhappily he has not understood the warning, 
but, while smarting under the very mortification which 
ought to have opened his eyes, he has conceived the 
idea of an act which, we may say, sets the crown on 
the insolence of his assumption. Is he not the CEcu- 
menical Patriarch ? then he, too, will hold a Council, 
which, from the title he bears, shall also be styled 
CEcumenical. The contemptible, not to say ridiculous, 
character of this pretension will be set in a still stronger 
light when we have briefly indicated the character of 
the humiliation to which he has been subjected 
by the Sublime Porte. It had its origin in the 
question of the Bulgarian Church, of which we 
shall by-and-by have to speak more fully. From 
the ninth century, when Pope Nicolas I. brought 
the Bulgarians into the fold of Christ, down 
to the present time, the schismatic Greeks have 
never ceased to employ every means in their power 
to seduce or force this people out of the unity of the 
Church. The sacrilegious frauds by the help of which 
successive Patriarchs have pursued and accomplished 
this end, have been but the repetition of those adopted 
by the arch-schismatic Photius in the days of Pope 
Nicolas. It is in the memory of all how the Bulga- 
rians desired to return to the obedience of Rome, and 
how our august Pontiff stretched forth his pastoral 


arms so lovingly to them, and with his own hands 
consecrated the Archimandrite Sokolsky, whom he 
sent to them as Vicar Apostolic ; and how this unfor- 
tunate prelate was carried off from Constantinople by 
the Russians, and imprisoned in a monastery of Kief, 
where, if not dead (as reported), he probably still 
remains. This act, although .successful in hindering 
the reunion of this people to the Catholic Church, 
failed of its full effect ; for the Bulgarians abhor the 
tyrannical yoke of the Constantinopolitan schismatic, 
who, to rivet this yoke upon their shoulders, avails 
himself of Russian help. To shake it off the Bulgarians 
had recourse to the Sublime Porte, which decided the 
question in their favour. Accordingly, on the very day 
(as we have said) that the Patriarch rejected the letters 
of the Holy Father, he was compelled to receive the 
missive of the Ottoman Government, which, through 
Fuad Pasha, its Minister of Foreign Affairs, intimated 
to the unhappy Gregory the separation which it had 
decreed between the Greek and Bulgarian Churches. It 
suggested two modes of effecting this end, leaving to 
the Patriarch the permission to choose between them, 
or to suggest any other which might prove acceptable 
to both the contending Churches. The Patriarch was 
too worldly wise to close with either of these proposi- 
tions. The separation would be ruinous to his Patri- 
archate; for, of the littleover five millions which his flock 
numbers, the Bulgarian Church furnishes above four 
millions. Their secession would therefore leave this 
so-called universal head of the Church with a bare 
million of subjects. To accept either of the proposals 
of the Turkish Government was to allow himself to be 
pushed down the precipice ; to make one of his own 
was to cast himself down. In this dilemma he threw 
himself on the Sultan's clemency, and addressed a 
petition to him, which, long as it is, may be reduced to 
two heads : his reasons for considering that the Bul- 
garians ought not to be granted their desire, and his 
own proposal to summon an CEcumenical Council of 
the Orthodox Church, which he regards as the only 
means of settling the question. The main reason 
which he gives to induce the Ottoman Government 
not to yield to the prayers of the Bulgarians is, that 


their separation would prove the ruin of the Orthodox 
Church ; a matter not likely to appear of any great 
consequence to a Turk, or to move him to much com- 
passion. The proposal of the CEcumenical Council, 
on the other hand, is unacceptable. The Turk has at 
this moment his differences to settle with the Greek 
Government, and would ill brook the additional in- 
convenience which the holding of this Council in his 
capital would entail. Besides, the object of the Council 
is to rob the Bulgarians of that which they so deeply 
prize, independence, and for which, having now ob- 
tained it from the Sublime Porte, they are already 
singing Te Deums, mingled with prayers for the 
Sultan's prosperity, and are preparing with every 
testimony of joy to celebrate the new era of their 
national Church. Finally, the Greeks themselves are 
adverse to the Council. They point to the CEcumeni- 
cal Council summoned to meet at the Vatican, and 
which the whole Catholic world is preparing to cele- 
.brate, and say, " If our Patriarch's pretensions to keep 
the Bulgarians united to him are just, and his reasons 
for keeping us all disunited from Rome are good, why 
does he refuse to go to Rome, there to produce and 
support those reasons at the Vatican Council ? " 



THE courteous reception which the schismatic 
Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople gave to 
the Holy Father's deputation, and his acceptance of 


the Apostolical Letters, were the cause of much dis- 
pleasure to Kevork IV., another schismatic Armenian 
Patriarch, who resides in the monastery of Echmiadzin, 
about three leagues distant from Erivan. Both that 
city and the monastery were, up to the year 1827, in 
the alternate possession of Persians and Turks ; but, 
at that date, they were occupied by the Russians, to 
whom they still belong. This Patriarch arrogates to 
himself the lofty title of Catholicos, in virtue of which 
he makes pretensions akin to those of the so-called 
CEcumenicos of Constantinople, asserting his right to 
universal jurisdiction, not only over all the Armenian 
Christians subject to the Russian Emperor, but over 
all those who are scattered throughout Persia and 
Turkey. Accordingly, when he heard of the 
Pope's invitation to the Orientals, he felt as if 
his throne was shaken. Like the Greek Patri- 
arch, however, he had no resource but to turn to 
the infidel in his distress, and to make humble suit to 
the Sultan. These unhappy schismatics, whose pride 
and love of dominion make them scorn the obedience 
of Rome, and reject that yoke which, like the 
Saviour's, gives rest and true freedom to those who 
submit to it, have to bow to Mussulman dictation and 
to " entreat the face " of the enemy of their Lord and 
of their faith, of men who esteem and call them 
" dogs." But it will be well, before speaking of this 
letter and the reply it elicited, to give a few words to 
the Armenian Churches and to the Patriarchs of 
Echmiadzin, which will help to a better understanding 
of the situation. The monastery was built in the year 
650 by Nierse III., an Armenian Patriarch of holy 
memory. The name Echmiadzin, which signifies " The 
Descent of the Only Begotten " Descensus Unigeniti 
took its origin from an ancient tradition, according 
to which, on the spot where now stands the great 
church of the monastery, dwelt St. Gregory surnamed 
the Illuminator, who was the first Catholicos, that is, 
the first Supreme Patriarch of all the Armenians. 
The tradition goes on to relate how in the same place 
Jesus Christ appeared to the saint and foretold to 
him the fortunes of the different Churches he had 
founded ; for he had baptized a very great number of 


the heathen, many of whom, however, had relapsed into 
idolatry. There is another tradition regarding St. Gre- 
gory the Illuminator, from wh-ich the present schismatic 
Patriarch might do well to take a lesson. Having bap- 
tized Tiridatus, king of Armenia, the queen, and 
the whole court, ordained priests, built churches and 
monasteries, decreed laws for the maintenance of ec- 
clesiastical discipline, and prescribed the rites to be 
observed in the sacred functions, he undertook a jour- 
ney to Rome, and induced the King to accompany 
him. Pope Silvester I. occupied at that time the 
Pontifical throne, and the visit of Gregory and Tirida- 
tus, who in their persons might be said to represent all 
Christian Armenia, was a splendid homage paid to 
the rights and prerogatives of the Holy See. Pope 
Silvester approved all that Gregory had done, and 
confirmed to him the title of Catholicos, with the per- 
mission of transmitting it to his successors. And to 
this very day in the Church of Echmiadzin, upon cer- 
tain solemn occasions, an ancient hymn is sung, in 
which God is entreated to preserve the Patriarch in 
these words : " Preserve, O Lord, the son of Thy ser- 
vant Gregory, who was exalted by the See of Rome, 
where the foundation-stone of the Church is laid." 
But the present son of Gregory has forgotten " the 
rock whence he was hewn," or, rather, he disowns and 
exalts himself against it, with these very words of his 
own ritual ringing in his ears. 

The Armenian schism began when the heresy of 
Eutyches arose. Many remained united to the Catho- 
lic Church, others separated themselves from the obe- 
dience of Leo I., and refused to recognize the Council 
of Chalcedon. The Armenians as a nation have never 
been very obstinate in their schism, and have more than 
once been on the point of renouncing it, or have even 
temporarily been reconciled to Rome ; the most 
memorable of these reunions being that effected at 
the Council of Florence. The obstacle has not, in 
fact, come from the people themselves, but from their 
Patriarchs, amongst whom those of Echmiadzin have 
been foremost in making the most strenuous exertions 
to perpetuate a state of separation which flattered 
their love of dominion. However, by God's just 


judgment, they have reaped bitter fruits from their re- 
volt against the Chair of Peter, and have had Bishops 
amongst their own suffragans who refused obedience 
to their Patriarch, and even disputed with him his 
title of Catholicos. After the conquest of Constanti- 
nople by the Turks in 1453, a more powerful rival 
sprang up, for Mahomet II., who had invited many 
Armenian families to settle in Constantinople, set 
John, the schismatic Bishop of Bursa, the ancient 
Bithynian capital, as Patriarch over them. Such 
was the origin of the Armenian Patriarchs of Constan- 
tinople, always regarded with a jealous eye by the Ca- 
tholicosof Echmiadzin, whohasdreaded that they might 
avail themselves of the favour of the Ottoman Court 
to entrench on his own assumed universal jurisdiction. 
It may be readily imagined, then, what a storm 
was raised in the bosom of Kevork IV. when he 
heard of the gracious reception of the Sove- 
reign Pontiff's Letters by his brother Patriarch. He 
seemed therein to read the impending fall of his own 
See. He had already taken measures to provide against 
the danger which he apprehended from the CEcu- 
menical Council, even before the schismatical Bishops 
had been invited, and when as yet rumour only as- 
serted that they were about to be so. For on the 
ninth of July he had despatched Serkis Cialalian, one 
of his Bishops, to the shores of the Bosphorus with a 
letter which he was commissioned to remit to Safvet 
Pasha, for his superior, Fuad Pasha. The purport of 
it was to commend to the good offices of the Sultan's 
Government, and obtain the recognition of this indivi- 
dual as his legate for Turkey, where dwell the greater 
part of those Armenians who, to use the Patriarch's 
expressions, " enjoy the gentle protection of the em- 
pire." He took care to set forth his own claim to 
authority as Supreme Patriarch over the whole nation, 
and referred to precedents of a similar conduct on the 
part of some of his predecessors, who from time to 
time had sent legates to divers cities in Europe as well 
as Asia, to inform themselves of the moral needs of the 
Armenians residing in them, as well as to rectify 
abuses occasioned by the indigenous Bishops, Archi- 
mandrites, and other prelates. These legates, he said, 


had always obtained the Sultan's favour, thanks to 
the prayers of the Catholicos, and had received aid 
from the public authorities in all their affairs. But 
notwithstanding these precedents, and the confidence 
expressed, if not felt, by the petitioner in the 
"generous protection of the glorious kingdom 
of Turkey," the present Sultan exhibited no 
disposition to imitate the alleged favour of his pre- 
decessors, nor did Serkis Cialalian meet with the de- 
sired countenance ; for the Catholicos had hoped that 
he would be at once recognized in his office of legate, 
and would be able to establish himself openly at Con- 
stantinople with that title. No reply, how ever, proceeded 
from the foreign office, and, accordingly, when the 
Pope's deputation reached Constantinople, and the 
delegate of the Catholicos learnt how it had been re- 
ceived by the Armenian Patriarch, he pressed Safvet 
Pasha on the subject of his mission once more, who 
rid himself of further importunity by giving him a 
final answer in the form of a letter to his Patriarch 
Kevork. In it, after politely thanking him for the 
letter of recommendation he had addressed to Fuad 
Pasha for Mgr. Serkis Cialalian, and after prefacing 
the unwelcome substance of his reply with other 
courteous words, he reminded him of the fulness of 
liberty accorded to all religions by the Turkish Gov- 
ernment ; a fact with which no one could be better 
acquainted than his holiness, as he had himself for 
several years occupied the Armenian Patriarchal See, 
and had certainly at that time yielded to none in the 
desire to maintain his dignity and prerogatives, in 
which the Imperial Government had entirely coincided. 
This might suffice to show his holiness how the presence 
of a legate from the Catholicos of Echmiadzin was in 
no way reconcileable with the functions of the Pa- 
triarch of Constantinople, to whose office it appertains 
to watch over the spiritual interests of the Turkish 
Armenians. It would besides be a novelty, no prece- 
dent having existed of a stationary legate of the kind 
in Constantinople. Delegates bearing the holy oil* 

* Amongst other privileges which the Patriarchs of Echmiadzin claim 
to have inherited from S. Gregory the Illuminator, is that of conse- 
crating the holy chrism for all the Armenian Churches. 


had come from time to time, yet were never suffered 
to tarry, but were sent on their road to Russia as soon 
as their commission was accomplished. Even this 
short stay had proved inconvenient, and the com- 
munities desiring the oil had begged that it might 
in future be simply sent to them with the blessing 
of the successor of St. Gregory the Illuminator. 
" Faithful to its traditions " one might almost 
imagine here an indirect reproach aimed at St. 
Gregory's faithless successor the Sublime Porte de- 
clared that it must decline recognizing any official 
mission in the person of Mgr. Cialalian, since the 
ministry of the Armenian Church was exclusively 
in the hands of the Patriarch of Constantinople ; 
and what other office did the Catholicos's letter design 
for its bearer save the sacred mission with which that 
Patriarch was already invested ? May the Patriarch 
Kevork derive more benefit from the humiliation 
he has received at the hands of the Turk than 
the Greek Patriarch has hitherto reaped from the 
repulse he met with in the same quarter. The envoy 
of the Catholicos remained, however, in the Ottoman 
capital, in order, no doubt, to make what profit he 
could out of circumstances. 

Many of the Armenian schismatic Bishops of the 
Constantinopolitan Patriarchate imitated the example 
of their head in receiving the Pope's Letters with 
marks of courtesy and even good-will. In fact, there 
exists among them a strong party desirous of recon- 
ciliation with Rome. This party has gained fresh life, 
and developed into systematic action since the 
announcement of the coming Council and the recep- 
tion of the Pope's Letters. The " Unionists" the 
name given to these Bishops had no sooner received 
these letters of invitation than they began to hold 
secret consultations upon the means to be adopted for 
the furtherance of their end. Notwithstanding the 
caution with which they acted, their proceedings 
could not escape the watchful eye of their colleagues, 
and a strong opposition party was immediately 
organized to defeat their endeavours. From all that 
appears, the notions of the Armenian Unionists with 
respect to the contemplated terms of reunion with 


Rome would require some rectification. There is one 
point upon which they feel very strongly, and that is 
the sound orthodoxy of their body. Dogmatic errors, 
they say, have been attributed to them by ignorant or 
malicious persons; their Church neither holds nor ever 
did hold these errors. Accordingly, as a preliminary 
step, they would have the Holy See declare that the 
Armenian Church is not heretical. Another condition 
upon which they also insist is the maintenance of the 
ecclesiastical autonomy of their Church. The bond of 
union ought, according to them, to consist only in the 
commemoration of the Roman Pontiff by the Bishops 
in the divine office, and in the collation of their 
Patriarch by reception of the pallium from Rome. In 
matters of faith, however, they would be willing to 
recognize the infallibility of the See of Rome, and 
would even be disposed to allow a right of appeal 
thereto. There is evidently too much of making con- 
ditions and debating terms of agreement between, as 
it were, independent contracting parties to render this 
programme quite satisfactory. They have been deve- 
loped to a certain extent in a long article published in 
an Armenian journal of Constantinople, written by 
Mgr. Nerses, one of the most eminent of the Armen- 
ian schismatic Bishops for science and eloquence. 
While demonstrating that the Armenian Church 
ought to seek religious alliance with Rome, and accord 
it the pre-eminence, he maintains that this ought 
only to be upon the condition of preserving 
their own autonomy and independence intact. 
We may confidently look to the acts of the 
General Council itself for producing a decided effect 
in enlightening the minds and removing the prejudices 
of all men of good-will and sincerity of purpose ; 
amongst whom we would willingly number these 
" Unionists." A meeting of them took place, in De- 
cember, at the residence of the Patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, to discuss the Holy Father's invitation to the 
Vatican Council. The result of the deliberation was 
favourable, as was manifested ., by their having imme- 
diately forwarded the Apostolic Letters to the other 
Patriarch, the Catholicos of Echmiadzin, along with 
the minutes of their consultation. Preparations also 


were set on foot for holding- a synod, in which the pre- 
lates might come to an agreement with reference to 
the proposals to be made to the Vatican Council on 
the part of the Armenians. Thirty-six priests, divided 
into two Commissions, have been chosen to make the 
preparatory studies, and one of the chief points which 
they strive to place in the clearest light is the falseness 
of that accusation which the opposition party brings 
against the See of Rome, of an intention to Latinize 
either the Armenian or any other Oriental Church. 
The Armenian Catholics of Constantinople are not idle 
spectators of this hopeful movement, but actively co- 
operate by every means at their disposal. 

The desire for reunion is far from being limited to 
the Episcopate. A large body of the laity, and 
amongst them men of great worth and eminence, 
as well as some holding official rank, earnestly desire 
to see their nation restored to the bosom 'of the Ca- 
tholic Church. The Armenian Patriarch of Cilicia 
having caused the Pope's Encyclical to be translated 
into Armenian, and exerted himself by means of the 
press to disperse copies of it throughout the whole 
Ottoman Empire, much may be hoped for in the way 
of promotion of the movement by the general perusal 
of a document breathing in every word the spirit of 
evangelical charity. It is a curious fact that Mgr. 
Serkis Cialalian, who, as we observed, lingered on in 
Constantinople after he had been informed, in Novem- 
ber, by the Turkish Ministers that his assumption of 
the position of Nuncio would be viewed as intolerable, 
in the month of January exhibited symptoms of 
favouring the party and objects of the Unionists, and 
even of desiring to join their number. Meanwhile the 
opposition, who enjoy of course the strong support of 
Russia, were taking active measures, and seven 
Bishops of that party loudly remonstrated with their 
Patriarch for his favourable reception of the Encycli- 
cal. So violent was their demeanour that they suc- 
ceeded so far in intimidating the Patriarch as to lead 
him to insert a species of official apology for his con- 
duct in the public journals, in which he en- 
deavoured to reduce the import of his reception of 
the Pope's Letters to a mere act of courtesy and 


urbanity. As for the acceptance or non-acceptance of 
the invitation to the Vatican Council, he left the 
decision to the Patriarch of Echmiadzin ; the interpre- 
tations put upon his conduct and published in foreign 
papers were therefore false and groundless. Courage 
and fortitude to face persecution are hardly to be 
expected from those who are themselves irresolute, 
and have as yet no firm grasp of a principle. From 
the behaviour of Mgr. Boghoz, the Armenian Patri- 
arch, at his reception of the Supreme Pontiff's Letters, 
favourable sentiments indeed might be inferred ; but 
no immediate decisive step could have been anticipated 
on his part. Having now become, along Vith the 
Unionists, the object of the most violent attacks in 
the press of Constantinople, directed against them by 
the anti-Unionist, or Philo-russ party, as it is called, 
his heart failed him, and he would willingly, if possi- 
ble, have retreated into a safer position, sheltering his 
responsibility under that of the Patriarch of Echmiad- 
zin. Catholicism was of course also fiercely assailed 
in these journals, and the engine which Russia has 
always so effectively used to retain the Orientals in 
schism was most energetically employed in order to turn 
away the Armenian nation from a desire of re-union 
with the Catholic Church, . viz., the assertion that 
Rome seeks to Latinize their Church and destroy 
its autonomy. Appeal was thus made to a national 
sentiment which is always strong, and at the same 
time to one of the strongest, if not the strongest, 
of the passions fear. It is, at any rate, that 
by which the popular mind can most readily be 

The schismatic spirit has always been prone to ex- 
hibit itself in acts of violence, and it has not on this 
occasion belied its character. The unhappy Patriarch 
who had ventured to manifest the leanings of his heart 
towards the Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church 
had now to dread even personal violence from his 
own flock. Excited by the anti-Unionist Bishops, 
chiefly through the press, the Armenian populace 
began with the opening year to break out into open 
tumults, noisily interrupting the divine office in many 
of the churches, and specially in that where the 


Patriarch was officiating, at the moment when, accord- 
ing to custom, a momento of him is made, crying out 
that the Patriarch was unworthy of being commem- 
orated. The memento had accordingly to be omitted. 
The Sultan's Government, which, it must be observed, 
has throughout these transactions given its support to 
Catholic interests, endeavoured to repress the persecu- 
tion directed against the Armenian Patriarch, a persecu- 
tion originating manifestly with the Russo- Armenian 
party, and put forth a manifesto condemningthedistur- 
bances, and threatening punishment in case of their re- 
newal. The Minister of Police also summoned to his pre- 
sence the principal disturbers of the peace, and repri- 
manded them severely. More than this, the Ottoman 
Government has in every way endeavoured to second 
the efforts of Catholics, and in particular it has 
sought to check the great source of mischief, the press, 
by giving a kind of semi-official avertissemcnt to one 
of the most prominent organs of the Philo-russ party. 
Good hopes were also entertained that it would lend 
its support to a Catholic journal, if it should be found 
possible to establish one. That the Turkish Govern- 
ment should have every reason to discountenance the 
promoters of Russian interests can be readily under- 
stood ; nevertheless, we cannot but think that it has 
also the sagacity to discern that Catholicism is 
the best safeguard of political order, and the surest 
guarantee of public peace. Tumults and outrages 
against the Patriarch still, however, continued to occur, 
and increased in violence on the vigil and on the 
feast of the Epiphany, when the services were inter- 
rupted by still louder clamours and in a greater 
number of churches. Cries for the Patriarch's deposi- 
tion now mingled with those which were raised 
to prohibit his commemoration ; and so alarming 
was the confusion in the church where that Prelate 
officiated, that he fainted away from the distress 
it occasioned him. Alarmed and perplexed, and 
feeling himself quite unequal to cope with the 
appalling difficulties of his position, his great desire 
was now to withdraw from the conflict. Thrice 
he offered his resignation of office to the Government, 
which finally accepted it, and the Armenian Bishop 


of Scutari was appointed to fill his place until another 
Patriarch should be elected. 

The tumults caused by the Russo-Armenian party 
in Constantinople were not the sole disturbances 
which occurred in that city at the commencement 
of the present year. Others took place originating 
in the dispute between the schismatic Greek Patriarch 
and his rebellious Bulgarian subjects. The present 
state of the Bulgarians is calculated to raise very 
painful reflections in the minds of Catholics. So 
lately reconciled to the Church, then by Russian arti- 
fice deprived of their spiritual head, and again 
lapsing into their schism, they are now in all the 
first exultation of their deliverance from the yoke of 
the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, without showing 
the slightest disposition to turn their eyes once more 
towards Rome, or manifesting the faintest aspiration 
after Catholic unity. This behaviour leads necessarily 
to the belief that it was chiefly, if not wholly, fear 
of Russia and detestation of their bondage under the 
Greek schismatic Church, which made them hold out 
their arms to their true mother. Be this as it may, 
their attitude is very unsatisfactory, and no good can 
be anticipated from the present movement. Schism 
with them is simply running the usual course which it 
entails ; beginning with division, it issues in division 
and subdivision. 

The Sublime Porte having decreed the separation 
which the Bulgarians so ardently desired, they 
began forthwith, without waiting even for its official 
announcement, to take possession of the churches and 
drive out the Greek priests. The Patriarch of Con- 
stantinople, however, did not give in, and continued to 
protest that the matter was strictly religious, and that 
the Ottoman Government was not competent to give 
judgment on a question which it appertained to a 
Council to decide an CEcumenical Council, since he, 
the CEcumenical Patriarch, was to summon it. But 
the Bulgarians have disregarded all his arguments, and 
contented themselves as their sole reply with pointing 
to a precedent which occurred about a century ago, in 
order to prove that the good pleasure of the Sultan 
was quite sufficient to effect a separation without the 


intervention of a Council, and that for the very cogent 
reason that it had been considered sufficient to sanc- 
tion a union. It seems that in 1767 the two Bulgarian 
Patriarchs of Ocridas and Ipek, desiring to submit 
their sees to Samuel, the schismatic Greek Patriarch 
of Constantinople, had recourse to the Sultan Mus- 
tapha, who promulgated a law decreeing the desired 
union and submission. The Patriarch Samuel made 
no difficulty as to the mode in which the transaction 
was brought about. He considered all to be done 
holily and excellently well, as appears from an au- 
thentic document of his, still to be found amongst the 
archives of his Patriarchate. The Bulgarians have 
dragged it to light, and given it full publicity. As an 
argumentum ad hominem it is certainly a powerful 
weapon. It begins by a most solemn profession of 
faith in the right of the State to do the very sort of 
thing which the present schismatic occupant of the 
Constantinopolitan See declares that the Turkish Gov- 
ernment does not possess. But then it must be remem- 
bered that Mustapha had ruled the case in Samuel's 
favour, whereas Abdul Azis has given judgment 
against Gregory. This makes all the difference. 
" To those who legally and truly reign it is given to 
make laws by means of hatti-cJierifs, or decrees. 
Thus acts the most powerful, and eternally august, 
our victorious master and king, the Sultan ; may he 
reign for ever ! " Such is the exordium of a document 
worth studying by those who would wish to know 
what is the essentially Erastian spirit of the schismatic 
Greek Church. The end is in keeping with the com- 
mencement. God is solemnly thanked for having 
inspired their powerful sovereign to pass such a 
decree, which truly merits the appellation of a royal 
law, seeing that it is favourable to the interests of the 
Churches in question, and emanates from him who is 
their legitimate sovereign, and bears the sceptre by 
right of inheritance. The Bulgarians take their stand 
on this precedent. "What," they ask, "was the 
motive alleged for abolishing the autonomy of those 
two Bulgarian sees ? The bad government of their 
Archbishops. And what was the authority which 
decreed its abolition ? According to the Patriarch 



Samuel, it was the authority, not of a Council, but of 
the Sultan Mustapha. Now, we set the Patriarch 
Samuel against the Patriarch Gregory. We have 
demanded the restoration of our old autonomy on 
account of the execrable government of the Greek 
Pastors. Sultan Abdul Azis has granted us the separa- 
tion we sought, and he is no less legitimate and her- 
editary a sovereign than in his day was Mustapha. The 
Patriarch Samuel did not ask for a Council, why then 
should the Patriarch Gregory ? " This cogent reason- 
ing has all appeared in the Constantinopolitan jour- 
nals, and the Courier d? Orient in particular has pub- 
lished an address of four Bulgarian Bishops to the 
Patriarch of Constantinople, laying bare the details of 
the struggle of which Bulgaria has been the theatre for 
eight years past through its repugnance to its Greek 
rulers. Hence dioceses without bishops, flocks with- 
out pastors, churches deserted, sacraments neglected, 
and ecclesiastical discipline fallen into utter ruin. No re- 
medy, they say, remained but separation, and upon this 
separation they had conscientiously resolved. What 
they were unable to obtain as a boon from the 
Patriarch, the State has now accorded, and the 
Patriarch must by this time be aware that he spoke 
to the winds when he proposed to summon an (Ecu- 
menical Council of the whole Orthodox Church to de- 
cide the Bulgarian question, or, rather, to hinder the 
Bulgarian Church from throwing off his authority. 
The separation not only has been already effected on 
the Bulgarian territory, but is taking place in whatever 
part of the Turkish empire Christians of that nation 
are to be found. This has led to no slight disturbances 
in Constantinople. Bulgarian priests began in Janu- 
ary last going round to the houses of their co-religion- 
ists for the purpose of bestowing certain customary 
benedictions. Hitherto these ceremonies have been 
performed by Greek priests. Hence a conflict ; the 
Patriarch Gregory having taken measures to support 
his own clergy in the exercise of their functions, and 
to maintain what he calls his authority against these 
rebel Bulgarian priests. 

In Egypt schismatics belonging to all the different 
rites are to be met with, but the only two rites which 


have Bishops of their own are the Greeks and the 
Copts. The Copts have a Patriarch who takes his 
title from Alexandria, where he resides ; he has four- 
teen Bishops under him, whereof nine are in Upper 
Egypt, one in Soudan, one in Abyssinia, one in Cairo, 
and two in Lower Egypt. To Mgr. Luigi Ciurcia, 
Archbishop of Trenopolis in partibus, Vicar Apostolic 
for the Latins in Egypt, and Apostolic Delegate for 
the Oriental Catholics of Egypt and Arabia, was com- 
mitted the office of delivering the Pope's Encyclical to 
the Coptic schismatics. His first thought was to 
have a good and faithful translation made into Arabic, 
to accompany the Latin text. He then requested 
Mgr. Abrano Bsciai, Bishop of Clariobolus in partibus 
and Apostolic Vicar of the Catholic Copts of Egypt, 
to transmit his Holiness's Letters to the nine Bishops 
of Upper Egypt, and availed himself of the help of 
the missionaries in Lower Egypt to perform a like 
office to the Coptic Bishops in those parts. He re- 
served to himself the charge of presenting the En- 
cylical to Mgr. Demetrius, the Coptic schismatic 
Patriarch of Alexandria. The manner in which 
that prelate received it is worthy of the highest 
praise. He displayed the greatest satisfaction 
in perusing the Arabic translation, and entered into 
long and friendly discussion with the Latin Delegate, 
accompanying him to the very foot of his palace stairs 
with demonstrations of courtesy of a truly affectionate 
character. The discussion chiefly turned upon some 
historical points connected with the early (Ecumenical 
Councils celebrated in the East, and upon those erro- 
neous dogmas in which the Coptic schismatics have 
followed the Greeks. The Patriarch seemed to be in- 
terested by Mgr. Ciurcia's appropriate replies, and to 
desire to renew the discussion at more leisure on some 
future occasion. The Coptic schismatic Bishops have 
a great horror of the Protestants, who endeavour to 
pervert their flocks, regarding them as the plague cf 
Christendom, especially on account of the false maxims 
by which they labour to extinguish devotion to the 
Blessed Virgin in the hearts of Christians. This was 
one of the subjects upon which the conversation fre- 
quently turned at the delivering of the Encyclical to the 


Bishops. They listened with pleasure and attention to 
the account given them of the constant combat which 
the Catholic Church has never ceased to wage against 
Protestantism, and expressed their joy at hearing that 
many Protestants, among whom were men remarkable 
for learning and virtue, had abjured the errors of their 
sect and submitted to the obedience of the Roman 



TVTOTWITHSTANDING the existence of some 
1 \| discouraging circumstances, and the evil ac- 
tivity of those who are interested in maintaining the 
separation, the fairest hopes, we conceive, may be 
cherished of the approaching restoration of the schis- 
matic nations of the East to Catholic unity. These 
unhappy nations must be led to perceive that, along 
with the loss of union with Rome, they lost all which 
formerly rendered them illustrious. Where are the 
successors of the Chrysostoms, the Gregorys, the 
Cyrils, the Basils, the Athanasiuses ? The sun of 
science which of old irradiated those Eastern lands, 
and thence illuminated the West itself, is gone down. 
The profoundest ignorance reigns in those regions, and 
if some religious practices are still kept up amongst 
the people, it is more through the tenacity with which 
they have clung to old habits, than owing to any in- 
struction which they have received from their pastors. 
Knowledge of Scripture, theological science, eloquence, 
and all that mental and literary culture which adorn 
the Catholic clergy, are perished from amongst them. 
The priest's lips no longer keep knowledge. Neither 


have they less degenerated in virtue. Where are 
their saints and great servants of God, their martyrs, 
their apostles of the faith ? Who has ever heard of a 
schismatic nation manifesting that zeal for the conver- 
sion of the heathen which is the peculiar note of the 
true Church ? If they reflect and compare they can- 
not but see that as regards science they are sunk in 
the grossest darkness, and as regards virtue they are 
fallen into a state of utter languor, while as respects that 
vitality which is the essential property of the Church 
of Jesus Christ they are oppressed with a mortal 
lethargy. And now when that Church stretches forth 
her hand to them, may we not hope that they will 
accept the invitation, recognize the truth, and surren- 
der themselves to it? In the present state of the world 
these schismatic peoples cannot much longer remain 
isolated, but will be drawn into constant intercourse 
with the Western nations : and what will be the con- 
sequence ? One or other of these alternatives will be 
their lot ; they will either be built firmly up on the im- 
moveable rock of Peter, and will then be able to guard 
intact the principles of the Christian religion, and be- 
come truly civilized ; or they will remain as they now 
are, resting on sand, and must go to ruin, borne away 
by the hurricane of impiety. They will not pass over 
to Protestantism, which, as a religion, has evidently 
lived out its day ; but will be submerged at once in 
that gulf of Indifferentism, Naturalism, Deism, 
Atheism, to which Protestantism naturally leads. We 
must look to the time as near at hand when two 
classes of men alone will exist in the world, Catholics 
and Atheists. This is the final goal to which things 
are tending, as has long been foreseen, both by un- 
godly men who have been preparing the way, and by 
good men who have been watchful observers of the 
current of events. The future prospects of these 
nations, then, for good in this world, as in the next, 
hang upon their reunion with Rome ; and it is to be 
hoped that their rulers, secular as well as ecclesiasti- 
cal, will be enlightened to perceive this truth. Specially 
may we hope that their Bishops, were it but from 
that natural instinct which prompts every one to wish 
to raise himself out of a state of degradation and con- 


tempt, may see wherein their true interests lie, and 
listen to the benignant invitation which has been so 
paternally addressed to them. Rome, which has 
everything to bestow, desires not to take anything 
from them, and never has desired to do so, as they 
might easily convince themselves. Language, liturgy, 
ceremonies, rites, privileges of which they are so proud 
and so tenacious, of not one of these things does the 
Catholic Church purpose or wish to rob them. If 
they will but consent to renew the bond of unity with 
their head, and give in their adhesion to those few 
articles which their Fathers subscribed at Florence, 
the Church will at once open her arms wide to receive 
them, and press them as dear children to her heart. 

If it is difficult to imagine that the rulers, whether 
spiritual or temporal, of the schismatic nations, can 
fail to see that safety and prosperity alike are only to 
be sought in Catholic unity, it is still harder to 
imagine how Catholic rulers should be so blind to the 
dictates of mere human prudence as, surrounded as 
they are by their deadly foes, to be suspicious and 
fearful of the Church's influence and of the authority 
of the Vicar of Christ, seeing that there they would 
find their surest may we not say, their sole ? protec- 
tion at the present crisis. No monarch can find his 
account in having a people whom it is impossible to 
govern, yet where is the sanction of the principles of 
order, authority, and subordination to be found save 
in the teaching of the Church and in obedience to her 
voice ? Those principles which held society together 
are perishing from the minds of men ; communism, 
socialism, anarchy, barbarism, threaten it from the 
seething depths below. Force alone keeps it from 
dissolution, the iron band of force. 

At this juncture the Father of Christendom summons 
a General Council, where those principles which are 
the world's -salvation, and on which the well-being and 
very existence of civil society and respect to lawful 
authority depend, will be re-asserted and proclaimed. 
Sovereigns, it might reasonably be expected, would 
hail with gladness this auspicious event, if it were 
only from the instinct of self-preservation ; but we 
have had too lamentable an experience of the blindness 


of governments as to their best interests for our hopes 
to rise above an abstention from interference on their 
part. We shall be content if they do not try to thwart 
what, by every means at their disposal, they ought to 
favour and promote. 

The behaviour of the French Government towards 
the future Council deserves the first consideration, in- 
asmuch as in the present condition of European 
affairs it is the State whose conduct, more than that of 
any other, can most directly affect its material securit y. 
And of this it is quite aware. It observed, however, 
perfect silence on the subject, and caused its official 
organs to practise the same reserve, until the loth of 
July, 1868, when the Minister of Justice and of Wor- 
ship made some important declarations before the 
Legislative Body. From the speech of M. Baroche 
it appeared that the Government did not purpose to 
place any obstacle in the way of the meeting of the 
Council ; that as yet it was uncertain as respected send- 
ing ambassadors, but that it was considering the ques- 
tion and collecting historical precedents ; that it was dis- 
posed to interpret the omission of any special invita- 
tion to the sovereign in a favourable sense ; and that 
it rejected the idea of separation of the Church from 
the State. These four so far favourable dispositions 
had their counterpart in several others of by no means 
so pleasant a character. The Minister declared that 
the Government repudiated the doctrine of the Sylla- 
bus, " which contains," he said, " certain propositions 
at variance with the principles upon which the consti- 
tution of the Empire is based." He also asserted that 
" the infallibility of the Pope alone is not admitted by 
an immense majority of the French clergy and Episco- 
pate," and said that, in its relations with the Church, 
the Government took the Concordat for its basis, and 
the Organic Articles, " which," he added, " I place in 
the same category." He reserved to the Government 
full liberty of action in an affair which, he observed, 
" would be replete with difficulties and perhaps, which 
might God avert, perils." In conclusion, he said : 
' We are armed, as the French Government has here- 
tofore been, both now and under the ancien regime, 
with the Concordat. It is clear that after the Council 


a great question will come before the Government. 
Are the decisions of the Council to be admitted in 
whole or in part ? This is a question still more 
strictly reserved than others." The spirit manifested 
by the Imperial Government in M. Baroche's speech 
was also subsequently exhibited in the eagerness with 
which the official journals patronized Monseigneur 
Maret, a prelate considered to be the champion 
of Gallican ideas. 

The French Government's fears may then be 
summed up under three heads. It is afraid I. That 
the future Council will proclaim the doctrine of the 
Syllabus. 2. That it will declare the dogmatic infalli- 
bility of the Sovereign Pontiff. 3. That it will annul 
the Organic Articles. In this triple dread the Govern- 
ment and the Opposition are entirely agreed. The 
Government is politically opposed to the Syllabus on 
the ground that it is irreconcileable with the principles 
of the Imperial constitution. It is evident that the 
interpretation put by it upon the Syllabus is both 
arbitrary and exaggerated, and that it is founded, to a 
considerable extent, upon a misunderstanding of its 
import. Be this, however, as it may, and whatever 
be the discrepancy between the principles laid down 
by the Holy Father in the Syllabus and those which 
the Imperial Government is pleased to adopt and 
patronize, its refusal to allow it to be promulgated 
from the pulpit has not prevented that document from 
becoming known to all French Catholics, and from 
being received by them with no less respect than 
a rule of faith. So that this precaution has had 
no other result than to mark a divergence between the 
Holy See and the French Government, a circumstance 
by no means to the advantage of the latter, since it is 
manifest that it ought to be one of the most cherished 
objects of the Emperor to conciliate the sympathy of 
Catholics for his dynasty, which sympathy, except 
in the case of a few party men, would be entirely 
secured to him if he had only shown himself sincerely 
devoted to the Holy See and to the Church. He has 
not had the prudence so to act. The dogmatic infalli- 
bility of the Pope, as well as the Syllabus, is a sort of 
scarecrow in his eyes, and he accordingly takes his 


stand on the declaration of 1682, and arms himself 
with the Organic Articles against any ulterior decisions 
of the Council. 

He has certainly got an arsenal of anti-Papal wea- 
pons in these same Organic Articles, which, we need 
scarcely observe, have always been repudiated by the 
Holy See. The very ist of them forbids the publica- 
tion or execution in France of any bull, brief, rescript, 
decree, mandate, from the Court of Rome without the 
previous authorization of the French Government; and 
the 3rd makes special mention of the decrees of foreign 
synods, General Councils included, as forbidden to 
be published in France until the Government has 
examined their form, and ascertained their conformity 
to the laws, rights, and franchises of the State. Then 
there is the loth, abolishing every privilege whatsoever 
which confers exemption from Episcopal jurisdiction 
or attributes jurisdiction to any other authority. The 
next suppresses all ecclesiastical institutions except 
cathedral chapters and seminaries. Another article 
prescribes as of obligation the teaching of the doc- 
trine of the Declaration of 1682 a glaring inconsis- 
tency by the way, since the Declaration of 1682 at any 
rate recognizes the supremacy without appeal of 
a truly (Ecumenical Council. Another prohibits 
priests from giving the nuptial benediction to 
such persons as cannot prove in due form that 
they have already contracted a civil marriage be- 
fore the magistrate. In this repertory Napoleon 
III. cannot fail of finding a text and a precedent to 
support him in any opposition he may think good to 
offer to the decrees of the Council. He must, however, 
be well aware that, in spite of the official character of 
the Organic Articles, as a law of the State, and of the 
Declaration of 1682, as embodying its governing code 
of theology, an overwhelming majority of the French 
clergy does not believe one word of the statements of 
the famous Declaration ; and as for the Organic 
Articles the greater part of their provisions remains a 
dead letter. Obstinately, therefore, to persevere in 
pretending to impose them, is but to nourish a perma- 
nent state of mistrust and contention between the 
State and the Church, and to constitute them in an 


abiding attitude of opposition to each other. To add 
to the folly of such a policy, there is the flagrant 
contradiction of its adoption in the name of a consti- 
tution which proclaims universal liberty of conscience. 
The Imperial Government ought to know that all the 
dislike and even resistance it may offer to the de- 
crees of the coming CEcumenical Council will never 
hinder its Catholic subjects from accepting them. In- 
stead, then, of assuming a suspicious and antagonistic 
attitude, calculated vitally to damage his interests 
with those whose attachment it would be most essen- 
tial to secure, how is it that the French Emperor does 
not perceive that, if he had at once proclaimed him- 
self the protector of the future Council, he would have 
placed himself in a position at once more glorious and 
more advantageous ? He has not the greatness of 
mind to rise to the part of a Constantine, aTheodosius, 
or a Charlemagne. 

The behaviour of the Government had, no doubt, 
a certain effect in keeping the French Bishops com- 
paratively silent, for, with the exception of Mgr. 
Dupanloup's well-known letter, and a few Episcopal 
" mandements," nothing calling for any special notice 
has emanated from that venerable body on the sub- 
ject of the General Council. Every one, however, is 
well aware that the French Episcopate holds, with re- 
ference to the Syllabus and Papal infallibility, the 
same doctrine as all other Catholic Bishops. As re- 
spects discipline, the Church of France does not re- 
semble that of other Catholic countries, and perhaps 
there is none other which looks to profit more largely 
by the decisions of the coming Council. The state of 
the French clergy ever since the Concordat with Na- 
poleon I., in 1802, has been altogether exceptional, 
not only in their relations with a government which has 
taken the Organic Articles as its rule, but as respects 
internal discipline. Canon law is practically non-exis- 
tent in France. Some canonists, indeed, there are, 
perhaps a dozen, possibly twenty, but, speaking 
generally, the science as well as the practice has dis- 
appeared. This is a state of things which it is 
well to face, without exaggerating its incon- 
veniences, but at the same time without conceal- 


ing them. The abolition of all benefices, the confis- 
cation of Ecclesiastical property, the assignment in 
compensation of a salary paid by the State to 
the clergy such have been the chief causes 
of the oblivion into which the study of canon law has 
fallen in France. The study declined from the 
moment that the law itself ceased to be practically 
applicable. On the other hand, the administration of 
Episcopal authority over the clergy is almost ex- 
clusively effected by means of decisions ex informata 
conscientia. The numerous appeals to Rome of late 
years bear witness to this fact ; and on many of these 
occasions the proper canonical forms had been 
omitted simply from ignorance of them. That in the 
present state of France there should be a disposition 
to avoid as, for instance, in the case of any scandal, 
or of refractory conduct on the part of any member 
of the clergy a legal judgment involving a certain 
amount of publicity, however restricted, we can easily 
understand. The affair would at once be taken up by 
all the irreligious journals, to be blazoned abroad and 
misrepresented, as a matter of course, in order to 
satisfy the greedy curiosity of a million of readers. 
The decision ex informata conscientia here presents 
itself as a resource possessing obvious advantages. It 
is certain, however, that it excites mistrust amongst 
the inferior clergy, and opens the door to multiplied 
recriminations. The same may be said of the re- 
moveability of those priests who in France are called 
Desservants or Succur satis tes> and who can be trans- 
ferred from one place to another ad nutum Episcopi. 
Complaints from this cause are no less frequent. 
What may be anticipated with respect to the decision 
of the Council regarding the canon law ? Will it 
reinforce the disciplinary decrees of the Council of 
Trent ? or will it introduce, and, if so, to what extent, 
modifications adapted to present circumstances ? 
These questions, we believe, form a very special 
subject of the consideration and study of the French 
Bishops, who, it must be observed, as well as the 
clergy of the second order, deeply lament the neglect 
into which the study of canon law has fallen in 


Every one knows that in France Catholics are un- 
fortunately split into two parties : the one party con- 
sists of those who are simply and purely Catholics ; the 
other party of those who are called " liberal Catholics." 
Among the rural population this distinction does not 
exist. Catholic liberals, as a matter of course, are 
the object of Government predilections, from which, 
however, we must not conclude that the majority 
of the Catholic liberals are favourable to the Govern- 
ment. Quite the reverse is notoriously the case. 
Nevertheless, on the subject of the General Council, 
they have certain sympathies in common. For these 
liberal Catholics, who are always desirous to reconcile 
as best they may their political creed, embodied in 
the principles of '89, with the Church's doctrine, have 
their fears and misgivings with respect to the Syllabus, 
which they apprehend may be proclaimed by the 
Vatican Council ; fears which are, however, tempered 
by the hope that it may modify or interpret certain 
of its propositions in a sense more favourable to their 
ideas. The Catholics, pure and simple, who consti- 
tute the great majority of the faithful, join heartily 
with their brethren throughout the world in looking 
forward with confident hope to the meeting of the 
Council, and submit beforehand with both mind and 
heart to its infallible decisions. They are not like the 
former class, men who seem more anxious that the 
Church should agree with them, than to place them- 
selves in agreement with the Church, and who are, 
therefore, eagerly solicitous as to whether or not her de- 
cisions may run counter to certain personal opinions 
of their own, to which they cling as to a second reli- 
gion. Those Catholics who, as Catholics, set up no 
party banner, having no other desire but to learn 
with docility from the Church, with whose teach- 
ing their minds are in perfect harmony, are unani- 
mous in hailing as most opportune the conven- 
ing of a General Council at a time when it has 
become so needful to recall and reassert those immu- 
table truths upon which society rests, and to draw 
closer the ties of unity in the flock of Jesus Christ. 
They admire the courage with which this great 
assembly of the Church has been summoned to meet 


amidst the storms of revolution which are raging 
around, and daily pour forth their supplications before 
the Most High that He will stretch forth His arm to 
protect her from all the perils which surround and 
menace her. 

The non-Catholic portion of the French nation, in 
which we include rationalists and unbelievers, with 
those who, like the Protestants, profess some form of 
Christianity, are as a body hostile to the future Coun- 
cil. But they do not all adopt the same language 
with respect to it. Serious-minded men, to whatever 
sect or school of thought they belong, speak with 
gravity and decorum of an event which they cannot 
but regard as truly extraordinary. The recent words 
of an illustrious Protestant on the subject, M. Guizot, 
are known to all ; and the recollection of the applause 
with which M. Emile Olivier's words were greeted in 
the Chamber is fresh in men's minds. " It is now 
three centuries," he said, " since so important an event 
has taken place in the Catholic world. I discern in 
the language of the Pope a boldness which imposes 
upon me ; it strikes me with respect and admiration ; 
because I love those powers which display strength 
and manifest with a frank energy the confidence which 
animates them and the faith which inspires them." But 
while grave, sensible, and conscientious men amongst 
non-Catholics are expressing these and such-like 
sentiments, the mouth - pieces of infidelity are 
publishing abroad that the Council is the feeble effort 
of a Church at its last gasp, and that it is calling it to 
meet over its own grave already dug. Others, assum- 
ing a different tone, represent the Council as a meet- 
ing eminently hostile to what they call the progress of 
the human intellect, to national liberty, and to the ex- 
istence of modern society. Such are the general 
tactics of the enemies of religion. The Protestants on 
the whole seem disturbed and anxious about the 
future Council, but speak of it in terms of moderation 
which strikingly contrast with those which their an- 
cestors used about the Council of Trent. Their minis- 
ters in particular seem very desirous to dissuade their 
co-religionists from going to Rome during its session. 
Such is the scope of a circular addressed by the Com- 


pany of Pastors of Geneva to all the French Synods, 
and reproduced in the journal entitled Le Protestant 
Liberal. This precautionary measure is in itself an 
index to the Protestant state of mind, and betokens a 
certain movement in the body. Some, indeed, have 
already declared their intention of repairing to Rome 
during the sitting of the Council, and their example 
will no doubt be followed, if only from motives of 
curiosity, by a certain number of rationalists, unbe- 
lievers, and indifferentists. The approaching elections 
in France have, however, engrossed so large an amount 
of attention, that as yet the subject of the General 
Council has not come so prominently before the 
public mind as it may be expected to do when they 
are over. 

We have spoken of the hopes which Catholics enter- 
tain of seeing the doctrine of the Syllabus promulgated 
by the Council, and on the other hand of those which 
are fostered by liberal Catholics that its propositions 
will be modified so as better to accord with the 
modern theories they have embraced. That the 
Council will modify any doctrine of the Syllabus we 
can confidently pronounce as a chimerical expecta- 
tion ; but it is very possible that, while enunciating 
its propositions formally and with their needful deve- 
lopements, it may thus indirectly indicate what those 
propositions do not but are erroneously taken by some 
to mean, and in so doing may remove the misunder- 
standing existing, not only in governmental spheres, 
but also in a large numberof individual minds, cultivated 
in other respects, but not familiar with theological lan- 
guage, and hence liable to misinterpret it. Be this as 
it may, time will serve to dissipate prejudice, eyes will 
get used to the light, and truth, being immortal, will 
triumph by its own inherent strength. The Catholics of 
France would joyfully welcome a proclamation by 
the future Council of the Pope's infallibility. It would 
thus by implication annul the famous Declaration of 
1682, without any need of a special discussion of those 
wretched " Four Articles " which so long formed 
the life of Gallicanism. It is impossible, however, 
not to feel that the Sovereign Pontiff, whom such 
a decision would personally regard, is likely from sen- 


timents of reserve to be reluctant to take upon himself 
the initiative of a proposition of this character. But 
it is hoped that the Holy Spirit may by the mouth of 
the assembled Fathers affirm it by unanimous accla- 
mation. As regards discipline, the wants of the 
Church of France are (as we have said) very numerous, 
and would need a much fuller exposition than has 
here been given. 

We cannot for the present leave the subject of the 
state of religious opinion in France without some 
allusion to the press, so mighty an engine for evil as 
for good, though much more, we fear, for evil 
than for good, in the present day. As respects 
religion the only matter with which we are here 
concerned the French press may be generally 
divided into four classes : the revolutionary press ; 
the parliamentary press ; the religious liberal press ; 
and the religious Roman press. The revolutionary 
press, as being inimical to all revealed religion, is of 
course specially hostile to the Council, which is the 
boldest assertion of the power and reality of the true 
faith : hitherto, however, it has not occupied itself 
very much with the subject ; but whenever it has 
alluded to it, it is almost superfluous to add, that it 
has been in terms of depreciation and ridicule. The 
parliamentary press, to which category the Libert^ 
the Presse, and the Journal des Debats belong, 
as well as the Patrie, the Constitutionel, and the 
Etendard, all political journals, have not taken 
much notice of the coming Council ; but when 
they have spoken, they have always adopted the 
line to which the State adheres, and have defended 
its old administrative traditions, and the pretensions of 
the temporal power in relation to those spiritual 
questions which appertain to the Church's competence. 
The religious liberal press, as the France, the Gazette 
de France, the Frangais, the Villes et Campagnes, is 
favourable to the Council, and speaks of it in very 
proper terms ; we may observe, however, a certain 
predilection for the doctrines of the old French clergy, 
and a certain disposition to dwell upon and magnify 
the power of Bishops. Perhaps, however, nothing 
would be more difficult than precisely to characterize 


the views and feelings of the French Catholic liberals, 
of which the press is the great public exponent. 
Liberalism in them has various shades and degrees, 
and in a very large proportion of their number is com- 
bined with the most sincere and loyal devotion to the 
Holy See, certain suspicious or unsound notions which 
they are known to favour, being, we have good rea- 
son to think, errors of intellect rather than of heart or 
will, and in great measure the result of the difficult 
political circumstances under which they have been 
reared. Of men like these, who number in their 
ranks some devoted champions of the Church (so 
different in animus from many of those who in other 
Catholic lands are knownas " liberal Catholics," and who 
are, in fact, Catholics undergoing a processof deteriora- 
tion and decomposition), we would speak with all 
tenderness, esteem, and respect. The leading organs 
of the religious Roman press, to which the designa- 
tion of Ultramontane has been affixed by its opponents, 
are the Monde and the Univers. These journals are 
daily occupied with the subject of the Council, and 
manifest, we need scarcely add, the most unexcep- 
tionable spirit in its regard. They labour to predispose 
the faithful to accept with filial submission the decisions 
of this august assembly, and to keep alive in their 
hearts the hopes of the benefits which will accrue from 
it to Christendom. 

We cannot be silent on a discussion which has 
arisen between the Civilta Cattolica and some organs of 
the liberal school of Catholics in France. The Civilta 
published two months ago an account of the state of feel- 
ing manifested in France towards the General Council 
by Catholics and by others. This account was writ- 
ten by a person who had the means and the right to 
form an opinion. It erred by being in parts too true 
to be palatable, and it raised a storm. An elabo- 
rate answer was published in the Frangais, which, 
though written by M. Besloy, has been attributed 
to the Bishop of Orleans. It is well-known that 
the spirit of Gallicanism and nationalism abun- 
dantly survives in the French nation, and is care- 
fully kept alive by the Government, which is interested 
in having it to play off against the purity of Catholic 


policy and doctrine. The sensitiveness and self-love 
of a school in France were wounded, as anything 
short of praise is apt to wound those who so pride 
themselves upon their nationality as to raise it to the 
dignity of a kind of culte. It is not surprising 
therefore that journals, which declare that the defini- 
tion of the infallibility of the Pope would be an outrage 
to the France of Louis XIV. and of Napoleon III., 
should be a little impatient of the pure Catholic tra- 
ditions which are put forward by the Civiltti Cattolica. 
We congratulate the Civilta, however, upon the effect 
which its words have produced. A little stimulant, 
mingled as it was with honey, has not been thrown 
away. The defence given in the number of the Civiltti 
for the i /th of April has left nothing to be desired, 
either in tender consideration for the sensitiveness of 
the French liberal school, or in justification of its own 



Quoe enim semper una vocatur, et est, nunquam dividitur aut secatur ; 
qure semper perfecta, hoc est, plena, nunquam minuitur aut evacua- 
tur ; quoe semper immaculata, nunquam corrumpitur aut maculatur. 
Quoniam etsi nonnunquam ab ea plcrique ita exeunt, ut non revertan- 
tur, non tamen ejus unitas inde discinditur, aut perfectio minoratur, 
seu virginitas violatur. S. Leo IX. Ep. ad Michael. Const. 3. 

THE SOVEREIGN PONTIFF having summoned 
a General Council of Holy Church, like his pre- 
decessors under like circumstances, turned his eyes to 
those whom he would not summon, because disobe- 
dient children, and admonished them of their erroneous 
way. He warns and beseeches them to take advan- 
tage of his offer to them, in the Indiction of the Coun- 
cil. As only those who are subject to him, and own 
his salutary rule, can sit in the great congregation, so 
he calls upon those bishops it is all he can do for 
them who are unhappily not in the fold of Christ to 



come to Rome in order to their return into the fold 
from which they are now by their sins excluded. 

It is observable that the Vicar of God has addressed 
no Bishops in the West as aliens from the Kingdom 
of Christ. Those to whom he wrote are Bishops of 
the Eastern Rite not in the communion of the Holy 
See. There are then no such Bishops of any rite in 
the West, otherwise the Holy Father would have 
directed his words also to them. The West has no 
Bishops not in the communion of the Church, none 
disobedient to the voice of the great Shepherd of the 
Sheep. But it is not so in the East ; in that land once 
so blessed of God, but now trodden down by the 
heathen, are many Bishops and many priests who mini- 
ster valid sacraments, but illegally, and who are, not- 
withstanding the gift of order, living at best in ma- 
terial sacrilege, for they have set altar against altar, 
and, unmindful of Our Lord's words, offer up the great 
gifts unreconciled to their brother. 

The condition of the Bishops of the Eastern Rite is 
one of the most deplorable on the face of the earth : so 
near the truth, and at the same time so far from it ; 
in the light and yet not seeing.* They are bound by 
their position and the obligations belonging to it, to 
know the law, for they are teachers of others, and 
they are only the blind guides of a blinded people ! They 
have voluntarily undertaken duties which they cannot 
discharge ; they have possessed themselves unlawfully 
of the most mysterious powers, and by their ignorance 
or blindness use them unlawfully always, except in 
their case who are in danger of death. They are in 
the spiritual world what in the material world would 
be an army struck with lunacy ; a terrible danger to 
all within their reach. 

The Pope in the beginning of his reign made an earn- 
est effort to bring the Eastern nations back to the unity 

* "No saint upon the altars of the Church has ever spoken one con- 
soling word of the dreary darkness of those who are without. Sad 
enough are the words of theologians, but sadder far the words of saints 
sad, indeed, and weighty with the wisdom of their spiritual discern- 
ment. Even the sunshine of the gentle saint of Sales is gloom, when 
he thinks of those who are not of the fold, and his sweet words turn 
bitter as he characterizes the lot of those who are not children of the 
Church." F. Faber, Blessed Sacrament, bk. I., pp. 63-64, 3rd. ed. 


of the Church ; he makes another now at its close, in a 
more solemn way and on a more solemn occasion. As 
General Councils are not necessary for the adminis- 
tration of the Church, nor provided for by any law, it 
is a serious matter for the Eastern heretics, for they 
may never again hear the voice of the Shepherd, they 
may exhaust the patience of the Most Merciful, and 
it may happen to them as it did to the Jews, who, by 
refusing to receive the gospel from the Apostles, made 
way for the overflow of the heathens, and left them- 
selves outcasts from the kingdom of grace. 

Ever since the schism, the Popes have been un- 
wearied in their efforts to recover again for the Church 
the ravaged provinces of the East ; they have never 
spared themselves, and they have toiled in the face of 
difficulties, which only they would meet, and even 
when their efforts were sure to be thwarted and their 
offers of forgiveness and of grace misinterpreted and 
scorned, still persevered. His Holiness now reigning, 
invites the Oriental schismatics to Rome, during the 
sessions of the Council of the Vatican ; and though the 
earnest exhortation addressed to them in the begin- 
ning of his reign did not result in the end he most 
desired, he never ceased to hope that God would 
hear his prayers for the recovery of these lost sheep, 
and that the Most Merciful, " who wrought salvation 
in the midst of the earth," would have compassion on 
so many souls for whom He shed His blood. 

The Pope reminds them, also, of what their fore- 
fathers did in times past, when they came, with peace 
on their lips at least, to the Councils of Lyons and 
Florence, and there made profession of the one saving 
faith, and were for a moment restored to the bosom of 
the Church, their mother, longing to receive them 
back. But, as a generous and forgiving father, he does 
not remind them of their ancient perfidy, if not hypoc- 
risy ; he would gladly believe them honest and true, for it 
would be' a relief to his compassion if he could think 
that they were sinning from ignorance, not from 
malice. The Church can live without them, the dig- 
nity of the Holy See is not diminished by their re- 
bellion, nor is the unity of the faith forfeited even if 
millions fell away and disowned the sovereign authority 


of the Pope. It is not for his own sake that he wishes 
them to return, though it is necessary for him to in- 
vite them back, because that is a duty of his office ; 
it is not to be laid at his door that they have gone 
into the ways of error, or that they continue to walk 
in them, notwithstanding his fatherly cry warning 
them of the evil to come. The Eastern heretics have 
been most tenderly treated at all times, their very 
prejudices respected, and no burdens laid on them 
which the profession of the faith did not necessarily 
involve. It was not the fault of the Popes that they 
fell again, and, like dogs, returned to their vomit, and 
now again in the nineteenth century compel the Shep- 
herd to go out into the wilderness in quest of the 
straying sheep. 

If the prelates of the Eastern Rites, now aliens from 
the city of God, came to Rome, they would receive, 
as the former prelates did, the most generous welcome, 
and be the objects of the most tender love. They 
would be strangers certainly, but still Rome is their 
true home, and the fatted calf would be killed for them, 
as it was for the prodigal child before them. 
The Sovereign Pontiff's arms are open to receive them, 
and in his heart there is always room for them. 

His Holiness speaks clearly on this point. The 
schismatics are not invited to the Council as members 
of it, and the equals of the prelates who have not tar- 
nished their honour by schism. They are invited in 
the same way, and to the same purpose, as their fore- 
fathers were in the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. 
The Pope's words are plain. Vocem nostram ad vos rur- 
sus dirigimus, tit majore, qua possumus, animi Nos- 
tri contentione vos obsecramus, monemus et obtestaimir, 
lit ad eandem Generalem Synodum convenire velitis, 
QUEMADMODUM majores vestri convenerunt ad Con- 
cilium Lugdunense II. a recolendce memories B. Gre- 
gorio X. prcedecessore Nostro habitum, et ad Florentinum 
Concilium a felicis recondationis Eugenio IV., itemDe- 
cessore Nostro, celebratum. That is, the Oriental Bishops 
are invited to come as their predecessors came, and 
on the same conditions. The Sovereign Pontiff has 
not two measures. There is only one door into 
the Church ; there must be absolute submission of the 


understanding and the will. Bishops cannot take coun- 
sel in common, nor deliberate in the charity of Christ 
if they are not true sheep of the one Shepherd. The 
Sovereign Pontiff is the teacher of the Church, he goes 
before his sheep, and they follow him because they 
know his voice ; they could not follow him if they did 
not know him, and Bishops in schism neither know his 
voice nor follow him into the salutary pastures wherein 
he feeds the sheep and the lambs. 



Non defuit summorum Pontificum cura, ut gens ilia ad Catholicam 
veritatem rediret, ut cum reliquis orthodoxis in unius Petri simul col- 
lecta gremio, de Matris Ecclesiae utero fluenta doctrinoe salutaris 
hauriret ; id enim egerunt nedum tot salutiferis constitutionibus 
earn ad unitatem invitantibus, sed conciliorum coadunatione, pecuniaa 
profusione, vigiliis, ac laboribus ; et eo magis Romanorum Pontificum 
charitas eluxit, quod licet a Groecis tarn impie neglecti semper eorum 
salutem anxius perquisiverint. Card. Petra, ad Const. XIV. Inno- 
cent IV. 

REGORY X. was in the Holy Land when the 
VJT Cardinals in Viterbo elected him to be the suc- 
cessor of St. Peter, after an interregnum of two years 
and nine months. Having seen with his own eyes the 
miserable condition of the East, and knowinghow schism 
stood in the way of all change for the better, he reso- 
lutely directed all his energies towards the accomplish- 
ment of three things, the succour of Christians in 
Palestine, the restoration of the Greeks to the Church 
out of which they had gone, and the amendment of 
ecclesiastical discipline which had become lax. The 
supreme remedy for the evils he desired to correct was 
the convocation of a General Council, and this he sum- 
moned immediately after he had established peace be- 


tween neighbours who were quarrelling, and whose 
contentions might have made it more difficult for the 
Council to assemble. 

He began his work by sending legates to Constan- 
tinople, waiting, however, for some tidings first of the 
effect of the letters of his predecessor Clement IV. At 
last John the Franciscan came back with good news, 
and then the Pope invited the Emperor to the Gene- 
ral Council to be held in Lyons, May I, 1274. There 
were hopes entertained by many that the Greeks were 
in earnest, and that the Emperor, who had been beg- 
ging the King of France to befriend him in his attempt 
to make his peace with the Church, seriously pur- 
posed to renounce his heresies, and submit himself 
with his people to the supreme authority of the Ro- 
man Church. It may be that St. Louis knew the Em- 
peror of the Greeks too well to trust him, but be that 
as it may, he was not able to do anything more for 
him than recommend him to the Pope. He told the 
Emperor plainly that he would not take upon him- 
self such a matter, and that he would confine himself 
to writing a letter giving the Pope an account of the 
Emperor's prayer, and recommending him earnestly to 
his Holiness. It was not in his power to do more, for 
he could not absolve him from his sins. The death of 
St. Louis and the vacancy of the Holy See prevented 
the further progress of this affair, but Gregory X. 
undertook it, and summoned the Bishops to the Gene- 
ral Council at Lyons, and soon after invited the Greek 
Bishops also to attend it. 

The Pope had grave misgivings, and wrote again to 
the Emperor to impress upon him the gravity of the 
matter he had undertaken, and the necessity of being 
honest and true. He tells him that many persons of 
high rank and dignity were not afraid to say that the 
Greeks were not in earnest, and that time was wasted ; 
he hoped, nevertheless, that the good work begun 
would be happily ended, and that the Emperor would 
remove every hesitation from his mind for the Pope 
admits that he had doubts and not suffer such a stain 
to lie on the Imperial name. 

His Holiness required at once the acceptance of the 
terms proposed by his predecessor, Clement IV., and 


those were the confession of the Catholic Faith as 
taught in Rome. The Emperor was to hold and be- 
lieve that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and 
the Son, and to admit the supremacy of the Holy See. 
If he did this he might attend the Council of Lyons; 
if not, he could not be received. The words of the Pope 
are clear enough : Prcemissis primitns adimplctis, ad 
memoratam Synodnm, cut una cum CatJiolicis principibus 
te dcccbit, et nos desideramus ct petimus, intercssc. The 
Emperor accepted the conditions, professed in the 
most public manner the Roman faith, and sealed the 
act of profession with the Imperial seal. 

The Sovereign Pontiff did not treat with the East- 
ern schismatics as with persons who had any rights, 
or who were on an equality with him. He asked them 
to come to the Council, but not in the way he asked, 
or rather summoned, the Bishops who were obedient to 
the Holy See. These latter were his acknowledged 
subjects, and they were not only invited but charged to 
come. They could not absent themselves without sin, 
unless they had good cause to show. It was not so 
with the Eastern prelates who were in schism. Their 
duty was, of course, to attend Councils, when the Pope 
assembled them, but the Orientals were in sin and 
could not be summoned with their brethren. Yet as 
their baptism and their ordination had placed them 
under the jurisdiction of the Pope, they had a claim 
on his charity, though he alone, and not they, seemed 
to be aware of it. He does what in him lies to bring 
them back to the one fold, and accordingly he invites 
them to the Council. They probably knew as well as 
the Pope that they could never sit in the great congre- 
gation of the Church, if they were not members of her, 
dwelling in unity with their brethren. 

All discussions were to be over before the Eastern 
prelates could take their seats, for the Council was not 
to be sullied by disputes, and it would be impossible 
to allow it to open, if members of it were not of one 
mind about the faith : for how could the profession of 
that faith be made if it were' not held ? 

The Pope is most clear in his language to the Em- 
peror, and leaves no room for mistakes. The Greeks 
were not invited to dispute about the faith, for they 


were to profess and hold it before they could be re- 
ceived within the Council. The doctrines which the 
Greeks denied had been already settled, and his Holi- 
ness neither would, nor could, suffer them to be dis- 
cussed. The Greeks might ask for explanations or in- 
struction and they would receive all they required, 
but the discussion of settled doctrines of the faith, or a 
new definition of the faith, the Pope would not hear 

The Council of Lyons was opened on the 7th day of 
May, 1274, after a fast of three days, which the Pope 
had ordered to be kept five days before. The second 
session was held on the i8th, but before the third ses- 
sion the Pope had received letters from the Franciscan 
Friars whom his Holiness had sent to Constantinople, 
and the news thus brought to him filled his soul with 
gladness. He called all the prelates together at once 
in the great church of Lyons, and there the great 
Franciscan doctor, St. Bonaventure, Cardinal Bishop of 
Albano, preached a sermon on the words of the pro- 
phet Baruch : Exurge, Jerusalem, et sta in excelso; et 
circumspice ad orientem, et vide collectos filios tuos ab 
oriente sole usque ad occidentem, in verbo sancti gau- 
dentes Dei memoria. v. 5. When the preacher had 
finished, the letters of the friars were read in the 
hearing of the whole assembly. 

The third session of the Council was on the 7th of 
June, and a Dominican friar preached, who was once 
the Archbishop of Lyons, but now Cardinal Bishop of 
Ostia, and afterwards the Pope Innocent V. His 
Holiness then caused some of the canons already 
drawn up to be read, and dismissed the prelates with- 
out appointing a day for the next session, because the 
Greek deputies had not arrived, and because it could 
not be known when they might come. 

On the 24th June the expected deputies entered 
Lyons, many prelates went out to meet them, the 

* Non ad praedictae discussionem vel novam diffinitionem fidei, quam 
tanquam innumeris sacrae paginaa auctoritatibus, numerosis sanctorum 
patrum sententiis, et Romanorum Pontificum stabili diffinitione fir- 
matam, nee ipse [Clemens IV.] voluit, nee Nos intendimus, sicut nee 
decet nee foret expediens, in dubium, novo ipsam exponendo examini, 
revocare. Greg. X. P.P. E$. ad Michael. Palaolog. 


Pope sent the Chamberlain and the Vice-Chancellor 
of Holy Church to receive them. They were 
brought into the Pope's palace, where he was sur- 
rounded by his Cardinals; waiting for them. They 
were admitted to the kiss of peace, and then produced 
their letters : the letter of the Emperor with its golden 
seal, and letters from the Eastern prelates. These be- 
ing presented, the deputies declared that they were 
come to show themselves in all things obedient to the 
Roman Church, acknowledging its supremacy and 
confessing its faith.* The submission was complete, 
and the Pope dismissed them to their lodgings for the 

Before the next session of the Council, on the feast of 
St. Peter and St. Paul, the Sovereign Pontiff sung 
Mass in the great church of Lyons, and St. Bonaven- 
ture, who had now reached within three weeks the 
end of all his labours, preached again ; the epistle and 
gospel were sung both in Latin and in Greek ; when 
the creed had been sung by the Cardinals and the 
Canons of Lyons, the Greek deputies, at the head of 
whom stood the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, 
with the Greek Bishops of Calabria, sung it again in 
Greek, and when they came to the words " proceedeth 
from the Father and the Son," they sang them three 
times, solemniter et devote. The Greeks were now 
reconciled to the Church from which they had strayed, 
and though the reconciliation was not sincere on the 
part of many, yet there were no reasons to suspect 
fraud ; the Pope certainly, whatever suspicions he 
may have had, showed no misgivings, and on the 3rd 
day of July announced to the Council that the next 
Session would be held on Friday, July 6. 

On the day appointed the Prelates met in Council ; 
and for the first time there sat among them the depu- 
ties of the Greeks, behind the Cardinals on the right 
hand of the Pope. His Holiness then announced to 
the Council the fact that the Eastern Schism was over, 
that the Greeks had of their own free will returned 

* Dixerunt in prsesentia Domini Papce quod veniebant ad omni- 
modam obedientiam sanctse Romanoe ecclesise et ad recognitionem fidei 
quam ipsa ecclesia tenet, et primatum ipsius. Brev. not. ap. Colet. 
Condi, Magn. % Tom xiv. col. 503. 


into the obedience of the Roman Church, professing 
its faith and acknowledging its supremacy ; the 
deputies of that nation were there present with the 
Calabrian Bishops of the Greek rite, testifying to the 
extinction of the Schism. 

At Lyons the Greeks were not admitted into the 
Council as the equals of the Catholic Bishops before 
they had professed the faith. They could not sit in 
that assembly without first submitting themselves to 
the jurisdiction of the Pope, and accepting his supre- 

The Imperial Logothete in the name of his master, 
and, as he said, by the Emperor's command, abjured 
the Schism, omne schisma prorsits abjnro, so also did 
the deputies of the Prelates ; both the Logothete and 
the deputies promising for themselves, and for those 
whom they said they represented, to preserve the 
faith inviolate, and to persevere in the obedience of 
the Roman See. 

On his way to the Council St. Thomas, the great 
Dominican Doctor, died ; and early on Sunday morn- 
ing, July 15, the Franciscan Saint went to his rest 
the two friends were not long divided and on the 
very day of his death, was buried in the Franciscan 
Church in Lyons. The Pope and all the Prelates in 
the Council were present, and the Cardinal Bishop of 
Ostia, who was to be the next Pope, and the first of 
his Order raised to that dignity, preached the sermon 
from the words of David, Dolco super te, f rater ini t 
Jonatha y 2 Regg. i. 26. Many were the tears shed at 
the time, for quiciimque enm videbant, ipsius amorc 
inconlinenti capiebantur ex corde. The next morning, 
Monday, July 16, the canons then made were read 
in the fifth session of the Council, and that done the 
Pope addressed the assembled Fathers on the great 
loss to the Church caused by the death of the Friar 
Bonaventure, Bishop of Albano, and ordered all the 
Prelates and all Priests throughout the world to say, 
or have said, one Mass for his soul, and another for 
the souls of those who died on their way to, their 
stay in, or their return from, the Council. The next 
day the sixth and last Session was held, and the 
General Council of Lyons was dissolved July 17, 1274. 


But the solemn promise of Michael Palaeologus,the 
Greek Emperor, was not wholly sincere, nor wholly 
insincere. He did not keep it altogether, nor yet 
utterly break it at once. Some reverence was shown to 
the Pope, and the Greek Patriarch, an inveterate 
heretic, who had not come in person to the Council, 
was deposed, because he refused to ratify what his 
agents had promised in his name, and another Patri- 
arch was set up in his place, who hated the schism. 
The Emperor had not formally under his own hand and 
seal personally renounced the schism ; neither had the 
Logothete produced his authority for making that re- 
nunciation in the Emperor's name, and many things 
were left undone which gave no comfort to the Pope 
Innocent V., who laboured hard to make good what 
his predecessor Gregory X. had begun. In his in- 
structions to the Franciscan Friars sent to Constanti- 
nople is a clause requiring them to obtain from the 
Emperor his abjuration of the schism in due form : for 
that had not yet been obtained in any other way than 
by proxy.* Innocent V. did not live to see the work 
done, and Nicholas III., elected in November 1277, 
was not more successful. He complains of the Greeks 
generally that none of them had applied to be re- 
leased from the censures they had incurred by the 
schism, and that, indifferent to the irregularity, they 
ministered the sacraments and other rites of the 
Church. But the conduct of the new Patriarch is the 
most inexcusable, for he, professing the faith and ac- 
knowledging the supremacy of the Holy See, had not 
applied to the Pope for the confirmation of his dignity. 
He had been consecrated in the beginning of June, 
1275, and the Pope Nicholas III., who was not elected 
till February, 1276, had not received any application 
from him for the necessary Bulls.t The reconciliation 

* Licet Logotheta nomine ipsius Imperatoris abjuravent schisma in 
concilio Lugdunensi : quia tamen Logotheta super hoc mandatum ejus 
non ostendit, petatur ab ipso Imperatore quod illud personaliter abjuret. 
Mart cue et Durand, A mpl. Collect., Tom. vii. col. 254. 

t Ecclesia Romana miratur, quod pnelati et alii non curaverunt 
adhuc statui suo ex consideratione prateriti temporis providere. Cum 
enim ratione schismatis in quo erant, multoties latce sint sententice 
contra cos, mirandum occurrit, quod ipsi quoad relaxationem sententi- 
arum ipsarum tarn pnelati quam alii clerici et persons ecclesiastics 


in Lyons was probably not more sincere then the next 
made at Florence ; and that may explain why it never 
went beyond the forum externum, and was never per- 
fected by the individual submission of the Greek pre- 
lates in foro interne. Martin IV., therefore, in the first 
year of his Pontificate, solemnly excommunicated the 
prevaricating Emperor, Michael Palseologus, and the 
Greeks continued in their sins. 



Quare sicut quilibet in sua ecclesia episcopus origo est, atque centrum 
unitatis, quatenus ficleles communi consensione adhaerendo illi, in ununi 
coadunantur, atque ex unione, gregis cum pastore ilia ecclesia evadit 
una ; ita in universal! ecclesia unus Summus Sacerdos et Pastor, sane- 
tus Petrus, Romanusque Pontifex, successor ejus, Catholicae unitatis 
origo, atque centrum est, et unitatem totius Catholicae ecclesias con- 
tinet, quatenus omnes turn episcopi, turn pastores inferiores, caeterique 
fideles illi adhaerent, atque ita ex pluribus peculiaribus gregibus uni 
Supremo Sacerdoti, atque Pastori adhaerentibus, unus grex et una 
ecclesia universalis coalescit. Cerboni, de Jiir. et Leg. Discipl. t lib. 
xxv. cap. 2. 

WHAT God in His mercy may have re- 
served for His Holiness now reigning, in 
the inscrutable decrees of His Providence, none 
may tell ; it may be that he will fail as his pre- 
decessors, or he may prosper in his great work. 
At this moment everything seems against him, 
but with God nothing is impossible, and the greater 
the human difficulties the nearer the victory. The 
Photian schismatics generally have turned, as far as 

super irregularitate, quam ex consequentia incurrerunt, se immiscendo 
divinis nullum adhuc petierunt remedium adhiberi. Item miratur 
ecclesia quod Patriarcha et alii prselati post confessionem fidei factam, 
recognitum et susceptum primatum ecclesiae Romanae, ac obedientiam 
promissam eidem, super confirmatione status sui nullam provisionem 
petere curaverunt. Martene et Dnrand, ibid., col. 272. 


we know, a deaf ear to the voice of the Great Shep- 
herd of the fold of Christ. The Sovereign Pontiff is 
preparing his great supper, and his servants have car- 
ried his invitations to the uttermost parts of the earth. 
It may be that at the last moment the Greek prelates 
may remember their first beginnings, and repent, or 
they may refuse, and make the miserable excuses 
which were made before, and which are continually 
made, unhappily, to the daily ruin of silly souls. 

The great vice of the Oriental mind seems to be its 
abject worship of the civil power, and an incapacity to 
recognize the government of the Church as a divine 
institution. Constantine withdrew from Rome when 
his eyes were opened in baptism to see the majesty 
that had already taken possession of the city,* and 
set up his throne in Constantinople. At that time the 
city had not obtained that name, and the Bishop of 
it was subject to the metropolitan of Heraclea. But 
the presence of the court, and the prevalence of 
heresy among some of its bishops, made the clergy 
ambitious of ecclesiastical honours, and without any 
shadow of right the Bishops set the metropolitan at 
defiance, and called themselves Archbishops, and in 
the second general Council, held in Constantinople 
itself, A.D. 381, a canon was made to the effect that 
the Bishop of Constantinople should rank next to the 
Pope, on the ground that he was Bishop of the new 
Rome. In the Council of Chalcedon the Greeks went 
further ; in the absence of the Papal Legate, they 
published a canon by which Constantinople is raised to 
a rank equal with that of Rome, and the reason assign- 
ed is that the powers of the Holy See were given it 
by the Councils, because it was the Imperial city. 
Thus the Clergy of Constantinople raised their Church 
above the Patriarchal Sees of Alexandria and Antioch, 
and then made it the rival of Rome. The canons, 
however, were not allowed by the Popes, and of 
course are of no effect, but the evil spirit working in 
the East has always used them, and at last brought 
about the Schism, which, to justify itself, set up a 
heresy concerning the most Blessed Trinity. 

* Cap. Fundamenta in Non absque miraculo factum esse 


The failure of Gregory X. did not discourage his 
successors, and in the dark days of the Councils of 
Constance and of Basle the Sovereign Pontiff never 
forgot the unhappy Orientals lost in heresy and 
schism. Even when nearly all Europe rose in 
rebellion against the Holy See, and the faithful 
Bishops were few in number, and when anarchy in 
the Church was preached by men who said they 
were learned, and was the staple of academical 
discussions, the Popes never quailed, but sat 
on their thrones in peace, waiting for the visi- 
tation of God. While the unhappy prelates and 
priests who had gathered together at Basle, and 
called themselves a general council, were in rebellion 
against the Pope, the Pope was labouring to bring 
over the Greeks to the unity of the faith, and his ad- 
versaries were the members of that council. Eugenius 
IV. commanded the prelates at Basle to leave that 
place and attend him at Ferrara, but they disobeyed 
him, and the Council of Ferrara was opened by his 
Legate Jan. 8, 1438. To this Council the Greek prelates 
had been invited to come, and they had promised to 
come, with the Emperor at their head, but only at the 
expense of the Pope. His Holiness undertook to 
send his galleys to Constantinople for them, to bring 
them over to Italy, and maintain them there during 
the sessions of the Council, and to send them home 
again at his own expense, even if they refused to 
enter the fold of the Church.* The Emperor and his 
Bishops did not arrive in time to be present at the 
opening of the Council, and reached Ferrara in the 
beginning of March. The Patriarch as he drew near 
to the Vicar of Christ became uneasy about his re- 
ception. He told a friend of the Pope that if the 
Pope was older than he, he would treat him as a father ; 
if of his own age, as his equal ; if younger, as a son. He 

* Item, si haec unio quod Deus avertat non sequeretur, nee ad opta- 
tum finem procederet, prsedicti imperator et patriarcha, et alii superius 
nominati, nostris sumptibus et galeis, sine longitudine temporis, ac 
omni impedimento cessante, cum honore suo, bona voluntate nostva, 
quemadmodum ad praedictam catholicam futuram Synodum venerunt, 
ita Constantinopolim redeant, sive unio in dicta synodo secuta fuerit, 
sive non. Eugenii S.P., Salvus Conduclus, op. Coleti, Tom. xviii. col. 
86 5 . 


was in some trouble, for if he really believed the Pa- 
triarch of Constantinople, appointed by the Emperor, 
to be the equal of the Pope according to the theory of 
the East, he need not have been uneasy, for he might 
have claimed the recognition of his rank as a simple 

The Patriarch, or, perhaps, more correctly, the men 
about him, caused it to be made known to the Pope 
that he would not show him certain signs of reverence 
when he came into his presence. His Holiness re- 
plied that he regretted the fact ; nevertheless, as he was 
desirous of seeing the Eastern nations brought back 
into the unity of the Church, he would waive certain 
things, but in that case the public reception of the 
Patriarch could not take place. The reception, there- 
fore, was private, and the Patriarch asked his Holiness, 
when the audience was over, for permission to say 
Mass. The Pope gave it, but a little later, when the 
Patriarch wished to have a church assigned him, that 
he might therein celebrate Easter, according to the 
Eastern Rite, he made application to the Pope for one 
of the monasteries of Ferrara. The Pope said the 
application must be made to the bishop of the city, 
and when it was made, the Bishop simply declined to 
give him one. The Patriarch complained, and the 
ministers of his Holiness told him that it had never 
been agreed upon in the arrangements for the Council 
that a Catholic church should be at his disposal. * 

The Greeks went to see how the seats for the 
bishops were arranged in the church ; and were dis- 
satisfied. At last the Catholics yielded to their preten- 
sions, and gave them the aisle of the church on the Epistle 
side. The throne of the Pope was near the altar, and 
below it a seat, vacant, for the Emperor of Germany, 
precisely opposite to which on the other side of the 
church was the seat of the Emperor of Constantinople, 
then that of the Patriarch, with the proxies of the other 
Patriarchs and the rest of the Greek prelacy. The 
seat of the Greek Patriarch corresponded with that of 
the first Cardinal on the Gospel side of the church. 
Thus the Council of Ferrara was really composed only 

* Histor, Unionis, pp., 98, 109. 


of the Catholic Bishops, for the Greeks did not sit in 
it nor form any part whatever of it. 

On the Qth April, 1438, Eugenius IV., with the Ca- 
tholic prelacy entered the church, and having sung the 
Mass of the Holy Ghost, and recited the prayers 
usually said on such occasions, waited for the arrival of 
the Greeks. The Eastern prelates were not present 
at the Catholic rites ; perhaps they could not have been 
permitted to witness them, before they had renounced 
their heresy. When the Greeks, with the Emperor at 
their head, had taken their places, an Eastern priest 
stood up and made excuses for the absence of the 
Patriarch, who was ill, and therefore unable to attend. 
Then, by order of the Pope, was read, first in Latin, 
then in Greek, a Bull, dated that very day, announc- 
ing his earnest desires for the reconciliation of the 
Greeks. That done, the prelates on both sides left 
the church. * 

In this session of the Council, if it was a conciliar 
session at all, the Greeks did nothing, and, indeed, 
could do nothing, for they were not yet members of 
the Church. They were not admitted into the Coun- 
cil, nor did they sit among the Catholic Bishops. They 
were there for the purpose of being instructed, not 
for that of counsel and deliberation ; and all the fol- 
lowing assemblies from the day of the opening in 
Ferrara till the 6th day of July, 1439, m Florence, to 
which place the Council had been removed by the 
Pope, were in reality conferences, wherein men dis- 
puted on either side, for the purpose of showing the 
Greeks how erroneous were the opinions which they 
so obstinately held. 

The Council of Florence, till that 6th day of July, 
was composed exclusively of Bishops who acknow- 
ledged the supremacy of the Pope, and of none other, 
but there was also present another assembly, or 

* Sguropul, p. no. The proclamation attributed to the Patriarch in 
the Greek account of the Council is regarded as a forgery, and is incon- 
sistent with the facts. If it was really read it must have been read only 
in Greek, and to the Greeks, for the Pope would never have consented 
that the General Council was to begin, or be proclaimed, on that day, 
when it had already been long ago proclaimed by him, and had already 
held its first session. Sguropulus says nothing of such a paper, and 
he certainly would hardly have omitted it, if it had been read. 


Council, composed of men who were not members of 
the Holy Church, but whose conversion the Pope was 
very anxiously promoting, and this assembly was 
called and addressed as the Eastern Synod, both by 
the Catholics and themselves. All deliberations that 
took place among these two assemblies were not 
deliberations in common, for the two assemblies never 
formed one whole. The Latins deliberated among 
themselves, and no Greek was present ; while the 
Easterns deliberated among themselves, without the 
presence of any Latin Bishops, and under the direc- 
tion of the Emperor of Constantinople. So clear was 
the division, so complete the separation, that though 
the disputants appointed on both sides met in the 
church, and saluted each other, they said their 
prayers each side by itself; there was an absolute 
non communicatio in sacris* 

During the I3th Conference the Ambassadors of the 
Duke of Burgundy were introduced, who made the 
customary reverence to the Pope, but never heeded 
the Emperor and the Greek Bishops, who were pre- 
sent in the same church.t The letters they brought 
with them were read, but only in Latin, and the 
Greeks were not informed even of their contents. 
The Greeks held their own Synod for deliberation 
apart from the Latins, and they called it the Eastern 
Synod ; the Pope himself regarded them as sitting 
in an assembly over which he did not preside. On 
one occasion, during the 25th Conference, Greek 
deputies came to him with an answer from the 
Emperor and his Bishops to a proposition which 
his Holiness had made to the former. The Pope 
listens, and says he will send Cardinals to the 
Eastern Synod.J Again, after the death of the 
Patriarch, when the Pope sent for the three Bishops 
of Russia, Nice, and Mitylene, and urged them to 
hasten to the desired end, they replied that they had 

* See Sguropulus, p. 116. 

t Concilio CEcumenico solemnem orationem fecerant, et imperatori 
Grsecorum nil dixerant in publico. Coleti, xviii. col. 995. 

J Cardinales mittatn ad Orientalem Synodum, ut enarrent omnia, 
praesente quoque Imperatore. Coleti, xviii. col. 399. 



no authority from the Eastern Synod to speak,* they 
would, therefore, speak as private persons. ' The 
Emperor, too, in Florence, called together the whole 
Eastern Synod, t The Pope also speaks in the same 
way, and on one occasion says he will consult his own 
Synod, t The Latin and the Greek accounts agree 
in this ; nor is there anything recorded of the Council of 
Florence to show that the Greeks were treated there 
in a different way from that in which they were treated 
at Lyons before. They had been invited to the 
Council, not as members of it, but as erring children 
whom the Pope was ready to receive again into his 
house. In both places they were received, for they 
promised to keep the laws of the Church, but they 
never kept their promise, and they are again to-day, 
where they were before the Councils of Lyons and 
Florence. They are in most grievous error, for they 
think the one Church can be divided, and that the 
Patriarch of Constantinople is equal in rank and 
power to the successor of S. Peter. They think that 
bishops can be bishops, though not in communion 
with the Holy See, and that men can be in the 
Church, and partakers of lawful sacraments, who obey 
bishops in schism, bishops who have never received 
'authority to govern Christian men. The Holy See 
is patient and forbearing, forgiving seventy times 
seven, and has once more called on the poor Oriental 
schismatics groaning under a double oppression to 
consider their ways, and come back to the salutary 
pastures which only Rome can give them. 

* Nos respondendi facultatem non habemus ab Oriental! Synodo. 
Coleti, ut sup. col. 57- 

f Universam Orientalem Synodum. Coleti, ibid. col. 507. 

Papa vero dixit se cum sua Synodo consilium initurum. Coleti, 
ibid. col. 514. 

Postea vero ad schisma reversi ac proinde excommunicati per- 
mansere, excommunicatione majori, qua omnes schismatici in Bulla 
csenas Domini feriuntur. Et ideo ab ecclesia Latina et Catholica divisi 
in statu damnationis seternse versantur. Thorn, a Jesu, De Convert ; 
Gentium procuranda, lib. vi. cap. 8. 




Exacerbastis enim eum qui fecit vos, Deum seternum, immolantes 
dsemoniis, et non Deo ; obliti enim estis Deum qui nutrivit vos, et 
contristastis nutrtcem vestram, Jerusalem. Bar. iv., 7. 

moned the prelates who obey him to assemble 
together in Rome on the Feast of the Immaculate 
Conception of this year, and having invited the 
Eastern Bishops who are lost in heresy and schism 
to present themselves before him at the same 
time, turns his eyes to another class of people 
still further sunk in the depths of ignorance and 
sin, sheep without shepherds even in name ; hav- 
ing no guides with even a colourable title to guide 
them ; with nothing to rely on but their own judg- 
ment weakened and perverted by disobedience. The 
Pope addresses himself to those nations who have driven 
out the " priests of the Lord," and who have given up 
His service and worship, who deny the faith and re- 
ject the sacraments, but who have not yet ceased to 
baptize their children, and who, therefore, retain the 
distinction of Christians. The Greeks and the Ori- 
ental sects have kept the sacraments and the priest- 
hood ; their priests are true priests, and their bishops 
true bishops, for these have received validly, but not 
lawfully, the sacrament of Order. They present a 
semblance of the Church, and pretend to have claims 
for consideration ; the Pope, therefore, deals with 
them according to their demands, and addresses him- 
self to their prelates, whom he invites to the General 
Council, not, however, as members of it, for that they 
cannot be while they are aliens from the faith. 

There is a great difference between the Eastern and 
the Western sheep who have gone astray. The former 
may receive in the article of death the full forgiveness 


of their sins, if they are penitent, for at that time the 
most merciful provisions of Holy Church take effect, 
and all censures and prohibitions cease, so that the 
schismatical and heretical priests may as validly min- 
ister as any priest in Christendom to the souls of the 
dying. But in the West there is no such help for 
perishing souls ; men have put it out of their reach, 
and in a manner secured their own destruction, for 
they have got rid of priests and sacraments. There 
is in the West no person who has authority, even in 
name,- over others ; there are none who stand in the 
position of the Eastern Bishops, so the Pope, looking 
over the wild waste of the waters of heresy, saw 
nobody to whom he could in particular direct his 
words. He has invited none to Rome, for there is 
nobody with a pretence to authority among them ; but 
he has most tenderly told them of the perilous course 
they have taken, and of the certain ruin at the end. 

Heretics and schismatics are never summoned to 
a Council, nor are they even invited to attend as 
members of it, for they are not members of the 
Church. But the Popes invited them to appear -in 
his presence when they held Councils ; so did 
Gregory X., and Eugenius IV., and so in the be- 
ginning of the Western heresy did Paul III., when he 
summoned a Council to be held in Mantua ; he 
invited the Princes of the Empire, who were encou- 
raging heresy, not however as members, for they were 
laymen, but to hear the voice of the Church. It was 
found afterwards impossible to hold the Council, and 
the Princes already corrupted denounced it in coarse 
and scurrilous language.* The Pope was patient, 
and sent Thomas, Bishop of Feltre, to Worms, in 
1540, where Catholics and Heretics, eleven on each 
side, were to meet for the discussion and settlement 
of the doctrines disputed by the latter. Paul III. 
said, that though the assembly was called together 
without his sanction, he might therefore not only 
disapprove of it, but even condemn it, yet, remem- 
bering whom he represented on earth, he forgave the 
slight and the insult, and directed the Bishop to treat 

* Sleidau, Hist. Reform. Bk. xi., p. 226. 


the heretics with every consideration, and to let them 
know how ready he was, provided they showed them- 
selves obedient, to receive them into the Church out 
of which they had gone. But at the same time the 
Bishop was to watch these deputies, among whom, 
the Pope had been told that some Catholics were to 
be found, who were not right-minded, non bono in 
hanc Sedem nostram animo sint affecti, * as indeed 
was the case everywhere then throughout the West, 
for the Reformation could never have been made 
without the help of Catholics, who were not Papal. 

The Western heresy is in one respect singular, it is 
the only heresy that has been able to deny its own 
name ; and call itself by another that enabled it to 
elude the penalties and the dishonour which the 
common sense of Christendom, as well as the teaching 
of the Church had always attached to the profession 
of any opinion at variance with the faith, t The 
secular princes who supported heresy, because of the 
worldly gains it brought them, were well aware that if 
the name of heretic once clung to them, they were in 
danger of losing not only what they had stolen, but 
what they held before they became thieves. They 
called themselves Protestants, a term that need not 
mean heresy, but which in the end was found to include 
all heresies, and issue in the unbelief of paganism. : 

The new sectaries, though occasionally, when it 
served their interests, affecting a reverence they did 
not feel for Councils, never made a serious attempt to 
return into the Church whose lands and possessions 
they so shamelessly stole. They carried on their fore- 
heads the brand of heresy from the first, and, filled 
with the spirit of unwisdom, refused to listen to any 
voice but their own. They were the true children of 
Luther, mocking and unclean ; and whenever they 

* Hoffman. Collect, i., p. 594. 

t Uncle et Protestantium nomen sibi ipsis gloriose nee minus subdole 
arrogarant, quo veteris infamiam nominis, quod ab hseresi sua sibi 
merito comparaverant, abolerent, ut jam non heretic! sicut prius jure, 
sed Protestantes injuria vocentur. Ambros. Catharini Politi ratio 
habita Bononia, ap. Marteneet Durand. Coll. Ampl. viii. col. 1147. 

Peccatum igitur paganitatis incuriit, quisquis, dum Christianum 
se asserit, Sedi Apostolicae obedire contemnit. Words of St. Gregory 
VII.. cited by Gerhous Rcicsfrpergensis t in comment, in Ps. x. 3. 


found themselves unexpectedly caught and brought 
as it were before the judge, they instantly refused the 
trial they had courted, or insisted on impossible con- 
ditions. Luther appealed from the Papal Legate to 
the Pope, then from the Pope to a General Council, 
yet nobody imagines Luther to have been serious. 
He saved his person from penalties by the first ap- 
peal, and that was probably all he meant by it, and 
the second appeal to a General Council was simply to 
insult the Pope, and to fill the taverns of Germany 
with disorderly priests who were ready for the reign of 

The Protestant princes, when required to appear be- 
fore the Council convoked by Paul III., knew they 
must excuse themselves in some form or other, for 
however careless they may have been, and however 
weak their faith, they were not yet strong enough to 
defy the power of the Church and break the laws of the 
Empire that would have been too much for them 
if they had not observed some sort of respect for the 
laws which they were about to cast away for ever. 
They had grown up in the Church, and knew her 
strength, so they were cautious in their public lan- 
guage, and affected a zeal for truth, for they would 
have been glad, if it were possible, to fight the Church 
with her own weapons. They professed to reverence 
Councils, and undertook to prove that they not only 
hated false doctrine and heresy, but also that they 
were free from all obstinacy and pride.* Nevertheless, 
they would not appear before the Council ; they re- 
jected it and refused to be judged by the Pope ; that 
is, they would not be judged at all ; they had made up 
their minds to accept the heresy, with its worldly pro- 
fits, and risk their souls for the lands of the Church, 
which they had stolen, and would not restore. The 
doctrines which had become too common in the 
Council of Constance, and which grave men, who 
might have known better, had so ruthlessly propagated 
in the interest of their miserable factions, by this time 

* Ostendemus enim nos non solum ab haeresibus et impiis dog- 
matibus abhorrere, sed etiam alienissimos esse ab arrogantia et 
pertinacia. Causa quare Synodum recusarint Principes t ap, Le Plat. 
Monument. Col. ii, t 576. 


had borne fruit, and the fruit it bore was ripe. The 
protesting princes had the hardihood to say, that the 
Sovereign Pontiff, was only a party to the dispute, that 
he could not be the judge of the controversy because 
he was not impartial, and so they asked for a Council 
in which the Pope was not judge. Synodus pia et 
libera, in qua non committatur cognitio doctrines Romano 
Pontifici? Thus, from the very beginning, the Protes- 
tant heresy seems to have attained to the fulness of 
its strength, and the perfection of its unreason. 

When the Council at last was held in Trent, hopes 
were still cherished that the heretics would submit ; 
the assembled Fathers granted a safe conduct to as 
many as chose to come, but none came in the disposi- 
tion the Council desired. The dukes of Wurtemberg 
and of Saxony, compelled by the Emperor, sent their 
agents to the Council in January, 1552, with a treatise 
on heresy, which the Fathers allowed to be read in 
their hearing. It was one of the confessions of the 
new religion, and for the time as accurately made as 
it was possible. The Fathers and the deputies of the 
two dukes, did not discuss it ; the former listened, that 
was all, and when the reading was over, the answer of 
the Council was, " the holy and CEcumenical Synod 
has heard your words and will give them due consi- 

There could be no discussion between the Catholics 
and the heretics, ' because there was nothing in 
common between them. They could not find 
a ground whereon to stand, nor a point 
wherefrom to start ; there were no first princi- 
ples admitted by both sides ; the heretics had gone 
so far and so fast that they were now beyond the 
reach of argument. They had discarded the princi- 
ples they had always held, and were now under the 
influence of opinions that were nothing else but the 
scattered ruins of human reason. Men do not reason 
with lunatics, neither do they argue with criminals. 
Some first principles must be sacred, or the world 
must perish in the confusion, and thus, when the ora- 
tors of the two dukes recited their extravagances be- 

* Ibid P . 579. 


fore the Council, the Fathers could but reply as they 
did, for they could not admit that the Christian faith 
was to be submitted anew for the discussion of here- 
tics, nor suffer the very first principle of it to be called 
in question, as if it needed proof, in the sixteenth 



Dividuntur vestimenta Christi, Sacramenta Ecclesire scinduntur : sed 
Integra manet tunica inconsutilis, desuper contexta per totum. 
Tunica hrec unitas est Ecclesise, quoe scissuram ignorat, divisionem 
non recipit. Quod enim desuper contextum est, quod a Spiritu 
Sancto compactum est, non dissolvetur ab hominibus. Cum hasretici 
exacuenmt linguam suam sicut serpentes, cum omnes aculeos 
ingenii sui excusserunt, ut pacem Ecclesiae conturbent ; tamen 
quoniam portse inferi sunt, non picevalebunt adversus earn S. 
Bernard. Ep. ad Guidonem Pisanum. 

* I ^HE Eastern Prelates when they came to the 
JL Council of Florence, seem, at first sight, to have 
been more favourably received, than were the deputies 
of the Western heretics at Trent. The difference in the 
two cases arose from the conditions of the persons 
who came to the Council. The Greeks came for a 
definite purpose, that of being restored to the unity 
of the Church ; but as they had certain doubts or 
difficulties which stood between them and union, they 
required these doubts to be solved. That was done 
in several private conferences, and when the difficulties 
were all removed, the Greeks yielded,and confessed the 
faith. Then again the Greeks held not only many 
doctrines of the faith, but also maintained certain 
principles in common with the Church : they respected 
the authority of their Bishops ; held the ancient tradi- 
tions, and with them the Church had little to do 
beyond showing them the true application of the 
principles they maintained. 

The Western heretics went to the Council without 


the slightest intention of learning anything ; they were 
inaccessible to reason, having made up their minds 
that they only were in the right, and everybody who 
differed from them in the wrong. They did not even 
admit that they could by any possibility have made a 
mistake, though they had for many, and those the 
purest, years of their lives believed and taught what 
the Fathers of the Council still believed and taught. 
It was therefore not possible to enter upon a disputa- 
tion with them, because they rejected the first prin- 
ciples of the faith, still less to instruct them, for they 
came in their vanity to instruct a Council of Holy 
Church. These men had not the excuse which the 
Greeks had in the long possession of their heresy, 
for they had been all instructed in the true Faith, had 
lived in the Church, and acknowledged the supremacy 
of the Holy See. Besides, they knew the fearful issues 
of heresy, and that the laws of the States in which 
they lived were more or less Christianized, and, 
consequently, a perpetual menace of the loss of their 
earthly possessions. 

The Fathers of Trent were not there to dispute 
with contumacious heretics, but to pronounce sentence 
upon errors lately scattered among the faithful. They 
were ready to hear anybody who had a word to say, 
but they neither would nor could dispute with men 
who denied the first principles of revealed truth. His 
Holiness the Pope, Julius III., sent definite instruc- 
tions to the Council concerning the manner in which 
the heretics were to be received. He repeats what 
Gregory X. had said to the Greeks in the thirteenth 
century : settled doctrines could not be discussed. 
The principles of the Catholic religion must be ac- 
cepted, for God has not given them, as He has given 
the world, to the disputation of men.* Those who 
came to Trent were to submit to the court and the 
judge ; to confess that there was but one Church, with 
one head, the Vicar of Christ, whom the word of 
Christ had made. If they refused to acknowledge 
these doctrines, they were to be dealt with as if they 
had made open profession of heresy and schism, for 

* Mundum tradidit disputation! eorum. Ecdes. iii., u. 


he who doubts does not hold the faith. Thus the 
Council was not a school where men might dispute ; 
it was, on the contrary, an extraordinary high court 
of justice of the Church, with settled precedents 
and clear rules of procedure. The Protestants 
had disturbed the public peace, thrown Germany into 
confusion, and the Council had to establish order not 
only by hearing the defence of the criminals, but by 
pronouncing sentence anyhow, even if they did not 
appear to defend themselves.* 

The safe conduct offered by the prelates assembled 
in Trent is, as may be expected, to the same purport. 
The Council promised perfect freedom to all who might 
come, not liberty of person only, but liberty of speech 
also. The heretics were to be allowed to " treat, ex- 
amine, and discuss," to produce their own statements, 
and to prove them, either in writing or by word of 
mouth, but in language sober and becoming, free from 
reproaches and insults. Though the Council required 
decorous language to be used by those whom it ad- 
mitted, it could not obtain it, and the prelates sat and 
listened more than once to the foulest and grossest 
calumnies which the evil spirit, working in the children 
of disbelief, poured forth so recklessly in those calami- 
tous times as well as in these. And, in addition to the 
sober language, they were required, according to the 
instructions of the Pope, to accept the teaching and 
traditions of the Church as the rule and test of their 

The Church must have ceased to be the Church if 
a different rule had been adopted. The Supreme Pon- 

* Antequam quidquam cum hsereticis tractetur aut disputetur, illud 
omnino servnndum quod et divini et humani juris est ut primum 
conveniant de judicio ac judice, et confiteantur unam esse ecclesiam 
Christi toto orbe terrarum diffusam, unumque esse ipsius ecclesire caput 
Christi Vicarium, Ipsiusque Christi verbo constitutum. . . . Quod si 
haec inficientur, non debent quovis modo audiri super quoquam con- 
tendentes, cum se declarent apertissime schismaticos et hsereticos ; 
nam is qui dubitat, non habet principia fidei, et articulum Catholicee 
ecclesiae convincitur non recipere. Monita PP. ap. Le Plat. Monum. 
Coll. iv., p. 417. 

f* Opprobriis, conviciis ac contumeliis penitus semotis ; et signanter, 
quod causas controversy secundum sacram scripturam, et Apostolorum 
traditiones, probata Concilia, Catholicac Ecclesioe consensum, et sanc- 
torum Patrum auctoritates in praedicto Concilio Tridentino tractentur, 
Salv. Conduct. Sess. 18. 


tiff appointed by Our Lord to govern His Church 
could not allow his right to be questioned, nor his 
authority discussed, by men who denied the former and 
were rebels from the latter. He is the Sovereign judge, 
but by no human institution, so he cannot suffer his 
dignity to become the object of insulting discussions, 
nor accept it as a concession of human reason. He is 
what he is by the act of God, and our duty is to admit 
it and obey. The old truths of the faith, long ago de- 
fined, and by many generations held, must be secured 
against profane curiosity ; they were taught in, and 
by, an infallible Church ; none of them could be laid 
aside, and none ever had been ; * they might be in- 
creased in the fulness of the light which the Holy 
Ghost supplies to the Great Teacher of the Church, but 
not one of them could ever be forgotten or denied. 

The heretics themselves knew and confessed that 
the Church could not allow them to discuss doctrines 
already defined ; it was one of their complaints that 
definitions once made could not be reviewed, still less 
changed. They went out of the Church, not so much 
for doctrine as for the right to question and doubt 
everything. They were taking leave for ever of fixed 
principles, and in doing so admitted that the Church 
held unchanging principles which it is not lawful for 
men to dispute. The safe conduct and the invitation 
to the Council did not satisfy their desires, and so they 
never went. They did not mean to submit themselves 
to the authorityof the Church, and having once tasted 
of the liberty of the flesh, they made up their minds, 
knowing the issues, to persist in the errors they had 
invented. The electors and princes of Germany had 
reasons of their own for not presenting themselves be- 
fore the assembled prelates of Trent, some of which 
they published, that they might not seem, at least, 
to be unable to defend an indefensible position, 
and one of them is certainly true, namely, that the 

* Quamvis in Ecclesia nunc qusedam credantur explicite, quse olim, 
utpote nondum definita, pro articulis fidei, tantum credebantur implicite ; 
nullum tamen ab adversariis fidei dogma in medium prolerri unquam 
potuisse, quod in Ecclesia Catholica olim creditum, nunc vero aboliturn 
sit ; nam hoc esset errare, non autem illud. Pichler, August, Confess. 
Art viii., v. 2. 


Council was not summoned for the discussion of doc- 
trine, but for the rooting out of heresy. * 

Thus, in the very beginning of the great Western 
heresy, the whole matter was clearly understood. 
Those who went out of the Church knew that there 
was but one way by which they could return, and 
that the Sovereign Pontiff would make no concessions. 
He is the guardian and the keeper of the faith, and 
has not the power given him to destroy it. The 
heretics, it is true, made offers, but offers which they 
knew would not be accepted, for they admitted that 
the Pope would not tolerate the discussion of settled 
principles. Besides, the terms they proposed were so 
utterly unreasonable that it may well be doubted 
whether they were serious when they made them. They 
wanted a Council, over which the Pope should have 
no authority ; they wanted the Sovereign Pontiff to 
release the Bishops from the obligations of obedience ; 
they wanted all questions to be decided by the written 
word, and to have all the decrees then made in Trent 
to be annulled and declared of non-effect, and, more- 
over, that no question should be determined by 
plurality of voices in the Council, t Though their 
terms are foolish in themselves, they are nevertheless 
consistent with their heresy, for they would, if by 
impossibility they had been accepted, end in nothing 
but disorder and wandering from the truth. 

The Council was dissolved at last, but no heretic 
came, and the assembled Fathers, on the 4th day of 
December, 1563, confessed that they had then no 

* Ex bullis quoque inclictionum concilii Pontificii manifesto constat. 
concilia ab ipsis non eo indicia esse, ut piorum et eruditorum virorum 
disputatione ac collatione lux evangelii illustretur, vel quod Pontifices 
conciliorum decretis se subjicere, atque emendationem ullam ferre velint 
sed ideo potius, ut Augustana confessio damnetur, eaque condemnatio 
execution! mandetur, atque adeo ut status ei confession! adhserentes et 
opprimantur et funditus deleantur. Le Plat. Monum. Amplissima Col- 
lect, v. pp., 54 55. 

f Ac primo quidem, ad indicendam piam synodum maxime neces- 
sarium esse ducunt, ut omnia ea decreta, quae in synodis Tridentinis 
facta sunt, prorsus e medio tollantur, aboleantur, et irrita esse publice 
denuntientur. Delude ut concilium .... convocetur, non a Romano 
Episcopo, qui etiam gubernator, prseses ac judex synodi esse non 

permittatur Tertio, ut sola vox divina, tradita scriptis pro- 

pheticis et Apostolicis, norma sit secundum quam in concilio judicetur. 
Le Plat, ut supr : p. 74. 


hope whatever that the heretics, so long expected, 
would come.* That great Council did a great work 
a work that will last for ever but it did not do that 
which the world expected from it, and which it also 
did all it could to hinder. As in Lyons and in Flo- 
rence, so in Trent, the Sovereign Pontiff's rights, im- 
munities, and prerogatives, were not submitted for 
discussion. Heretics were treated as heretics, kindly 
and mercifully, but as heretics and aliens from the 
fold of Christ, till they made their submission to the 
one Shepherd to whom Our Lord has given the care 
of His sheep and His lambs. 



Ex his ergo deducitur concilio ecclesiasticam potestatem supremam non 
convenire. Nam suprema potestas non potest ab alia regi et regular}, 
sed debet moderari omnes alias. Potestas enim quee errare potest, et 
quae errat, ab alia regi et regulari debet. Non est igitur suprema, 
sed superiorem habeat a qua regitur et regulatur. Concilium itaque 
errare potest, et saspe erravit ; ergo supremam non habet auctorita- 
tem, sed est alia potestas concilio superior, a qua concilium regi 
debet, ne a veritate deflectat. Summus vero Pontifex in iis, quse 
fidei sunt, errare non potest, ergo ab hoc concilium dependet, et 
hujus auctoritate regi debet, ne a veritate recedat. Inter omnes 
Catholicos et hereticos convenit aliqua concilia errasse. Fabulotti, 
de concilia, c. viii. 

AS the Convocation of a General Council must be 
the act of the Pope, so also must the dissolution 
of it be. In former times men disputed many of the 
prerogatives of the Pontiffs, but time, in this as in 
other questions, brings wisdom, and there are hardly 
any men now living, including even heretics, who 
would seriously maintain that the Catholic Episcopate 

* Nee ulla spes restet, hereticos, toties fide etiam publica, quam 
desiderarunt, invitatos et tamdiu expectatos hue amplius adventuros. 
Cone. Trident, sess. 25. Coiit. 


could be brought together in a General Council by 
any other summons than that of the Supreme Pontiff. 
When the greater part of the known world acknow- 
ledged the civil superiority and rank of the Emperor, 
there were men, dazzled by the splendours of secular 
dominion, who said that the Emperor might convoke 
a General Council. Time has answered this : for the 
Emperor has disappeared as a power in the world, 
while the successor of the fisherman is, if it be lawful 
to say so, more powerful than ever. His power, it is 
true, is not greater, but it is more readily admitted. 
The great Roman Empire that once measured its 
strength with the kingdom of Christ has vanished ; 
the Emperor of the West sunk into the Emperor of 
Germany ; the Emperor of Germany into the 
Emperor of Austria ; and now the Empire of Austria 
is in trouble, for it has been an undutiful child of 
the Church. The Sovereign Pontiff who fought with 
weapons not of this world against the Empire of old 
Rome, and with the powers of Europe since, stands 
still in his place ; the most marvellous authority, for 
he is a perpetual miracle ; the most strange elective 
Monarch, for each election is the direct work of the 
Holy Ghost, and the power of the Pope is derived to 
him immediately from our Lord. * 

It may be asked, What is the meaning then of the 
discussions, deliberations, and conferences of the 
Prelates, and above all of their decisive voice, in a 
General Council, when the whole matter is resolvable 
into the will and decision of the Sovereign Pontiff? 
It is a question more easily asked than answered, 
and one that must be left for those who are able to 
reconcile without difficulty the foreknowledge of God 
with the free will of man. What is certain on both 
sides is this : the Prelates of Holy Church are sum- 
moned to a Council, and in Council they may 
discuss and determine the questions proposed 
to them ; they have always done so ; on the 

* Quod enim educitur ex ilia electione sacri senatus cardinalium, 
est simplex indicium et signum persons quam Christus Dominus ecclesite 
suse prceesse voluit, et omnis potestas immediate ab Ipso Christo in 
talem personam designatam derivat. Justif^ De Dispensat; 
Mdtrini, lib. ii, c. 2. n. 24. 


other hand their decisions are of no effect except 
when sanctioned by the Supreme Pontiff. Many 
learned men have at different times laboured hard to 
escape this conclusion, and to find some grounds 
whereon to rest the claims which they would gladly 
set up on behalf of the authority of General Councils ; 
but the General Councils themselves refused the 
treacherous support of their learning. No Council has 
ventured, no Council has even wished, to raise up its 
own power above the Pope. And it was immediately 
after the calamities of Pisa, Constance, and Basle that 
the prelates of Holy Church, assembled in Florence, 
declared with one consent that the Pope was not only 
the Head of the Church as a whole, but also the father 
and teacher of each Christian man. The teacher is 
not the taught, and the Pope is, therefore, not bound 
by the decrees of any assembly, or by the opinions of 
any man however learned. 

The canonist, commonly called the Abbot, and 
his master, the Cardinal Zabarella, both involved in 
schism, have been always regarded as the pillars of the 
opinion which attributes to General Councils a power 
to judge the Pope. S. Antoninus of Florence in the 
third part of his Summa having quoted the former at 
length, has been occasionally referred to as not un- 
favourable to what is called the Gallican opinion, but 
the real teaching of the Archbishop of Florence is not 
to be found where he quotes Panormitan, but in the 
fourth part of the Summa* where he says that even if 
the Pope might as a private person fall into error, yet 
in all that relates to the faith he is always true, and 
that we are therefore to abide by his decision rather 

* Tit. viii. c. 3. Col. 450. Et licet Papa in particulari errare possit, 
ut in judicialibus, in quibus proceditur per informationem, alias in his 
quae pertinent ad fidem, errare non potest, scilicet ut Papa, in determi- 
nando, etiamsi ut particularis et privata persona possit. Unde magis 
standum est sentential Papne de pertinentibus ad fidem quam in judicio 
perferret quam opinion! quorumque sapientum, quum et Caiphas, licet 
malus, prophelaverit inscius. It was lately said that, " throughout the 
middle ages and down to the time of the Reformation . . . the modern 
Ultramontane view was not held. The distinction between the Pope 
ex-cathedr& and the Pope as private doctor was never heard of." S. 
Antoninus, to whom the distinction seems to have been familiar, was 
born in 1389. The latter part of the extract is taken almost literally 
from S. Thomas, Quodlibet. 9, art. 16. 


than by the opinions of learned men. Muzzarelli 
speaks the same language in modern times, and is not 
afraid to say that he would obey the Pope, though the 
whole Church, if that were possible, taught what the 
Pope condemned.* 

But this is nothing more than the common opinion 
current among the canonists from the beginning, ad- 
mitted always in peaceful times, and disputed only 
when the passions of men had burst all bounds.t Even 
Panormitan a-nd Zabarella, may be cited as really hold- 
ing the absolute supremacy of the Pope, though in 
general they are regarded as the doctors of the Galli- 
can school. They lived in evil times, took the wrong 
side, and were driven more by the necessity of their 
position than by their convictions, to magnify the 
powers of a Council and to assail the rights 
of the Pope. In their day the opinion was new 
and there was therefore the charm of novelty to 
resist, which is so often too powerful even for wise and 
aged men. The ancient gloss in Gratian J was known 
to them, and besides they knew very well that it 
had become the common possession of the canonists, 
before they ventured to break in on the immemorial 
tradition of the Church. The necessities of their false 
position made them enemies of the Pope, and hence 
their authority, notwithstanding their learning, has ever 
been less than it would otherwise have been. 

Among theologians, Gerson, the most famous 
of the doctors who wrote in his haste against 

* De Auctorit. R. Pontificis. c. 1 8. sec. 2, /. 467. Posita definitione 
Concilii Florentini, scilicet, quod Rotnanus Pontifex esl Doctor omnium 
Christianorum, ut Pastor Universalis Ecclesiae cum plena potestate 
pascendi illam ; etiam si possibile fieret, ut Ecclesia Universalis staret 
contra eum in doctrina fidei, ego constanter parere tenebor potius Ro- 
mano Pontifici, qui datus est Pastor cum plena potestate a Christo 
Domino Ecclesue Universali, quam ecclesioe universal! quce tradita est 
pascenda plenae potestati Romani Pontificis. Et si Papa doceret ali- 
quod dogma, et universitas episcoporum doceret contrarium, nos 
omnes fideles adhoerebimus potius Romano Pontifici quam universo 
collegio episcoporum. 

t Denique, ut csetera omittam, ad annum usque 1395 nemini in mentem 
venit, Pontificem Maximum generali concilio subesse. Card. Soglia, 
Inst. Juris Publ. Eccles. Prcenot. c. 2. sec. 38. 

Cans. 9. Q. 3. cap. Nemo. Concilium non potest Papam judicare, 
unde si totus mundus sententiaret in aliquo negotio contra Papam, 
videtur quod sententiae Papa? standum esset. 


the sovereign rights of the Holy See, has him- 
self confessed * that he was maintaining an opinion 
which was so much at variance with the tradition 
of the Church before the Council of Constance, 
that any one who held it would have been 
branded as a heretic. What was obscured in the 
Councils of Pisa, Constance, and Basle, was made clear 
at Florence, and put beyond all doubt in Trent, where 
the bishops admitted with one voice, when they 
supplicated for the confirmation of the Council, that 
the Pope alone could teach the Church. " A General 
Council is like no other Parliament, for its decisions 
on points of doctrine become infallible when approved 
by the Sovereign Pontiff. Yet the gift is in him, not 
in the Council, nor is a Council needed to its use. 
The judgment is in him alone, irreformable, irrefra- 
gable, indivisible."t 

Another question, probably undecided, is this : What 
becomes of the Council if the Pope dies while it is 
sitting ? The Council of Trent was not sitting when 
Paul III. died, nor again at the death. of Julius III. 
During the reign of Marcellus II. it did not sit at all, 
nor during that of Paul IV. Pius IV. called it to- 
gether again, and under him it finished the work it 
had to do. 

The fifth Council of the Lateran was sitting when 
Julius II. died. The fifth session of that Council was 
held on Wednesday, February 16, 1513, under the 
presidency of Rafael, Cardinal Bishop of Ostia, sup- 
plying the absence of the Pope, who was on his death- 
bed. On that day the next session was fixed by the 
Pope for April 2, and in the meanwhile that is, on 
the 2 ist of February Julius II. was taken out of this 
world. Now, if the election of the future Pope had 
not taken place before the day appointed for the sixth 
session, the Council would have assembled without a 
Pope, and the question would arise, What power had 
such a Council ? The question, however, did not arise, 
for Leo X. was elected on the nth day of March, a 
month before the adjournment was over, and the 

* De Potest. Eccles. Cons. 12. Oppositorum dogmatizator fuisset de 
haeretica pravitate vel notatus vel damnatus. 
t F. Faber, Blessed Sacrament, bk. iv.. p. 48,0. 



Council did not reassemble in virtue of its own 
authority; for the Pope, on Sunday, March loth, the 
day before that to which it had been adjourned, issued 
his Bull, announcing the continuance of the Council. 
Julius II. had not dissolved it ; he had simply pro- 
rogued it, four days before his death, to a future day. 
If Leo X. had not been elected, could the Council 
have met on the I ith of April, the day appointed by 
Julius II. for the sixth session ? 

Many men have written much on the powers of a 
Council when in opposition to the Pope. Some have 
held that the Council is supreme in certain cases, and 
that it can sit in judgment on the Pope. The two 
cases are, when there is an antipope, and when the 
Pope is a heretic. These writers have been numerous, 
but they have not been influential, and their adversa- 
ries have always shown them how impossible it is for 
them to act upon their principles. 

In the case of an antipope, it is asked, Who is to 
convene the Council ? Surely not the antipope, for that 
would be to recognize his claims to be the true Pope. 
The Pope would not subject his title to discussion, and 
he would certainly not summon a Council to decide 
whether he was the Pope or not. 

At the election of Alexander III. one of the car- 
dinals became an antipope, and the Emperor called a 
Council of the German and Italian bishops to decide 
the dispute between the rebel Cardinal and the Vicar 
of Christ. The Pope, Alexander III., gave no heed 
to that Council, neither appeared at it, nor sent any- 
one to represent him. But the antipope did attend, 
submitted his claims, and was rewarded for his act by 
being recognized as Pope by the Emperor. Neverthe- 
less, he was an .antipope, and is so regarded to this 

Again, it has been said, if two persons claim each to 
be Pope, and if there be no clear evidence as to the 
title of either, that then a Council is the fitting tri- 
bunal for deciding between them. If such a calamity 
befell the Church, it would be very grave, but as it 
has not happened in the course of eighteen centuries, 
we may pray and even hope that God of His infinite 
mercy may not visit us with so severe a chastisement 


and so perilous a trial. If it did happen, a Council 
certainly could give no relief, for there would be no 
certain Pope to convoke it ; and no Council can be 
convoked by any other person, not even by the Cardi- 
nals in their perplexity ; and, if at such a time a 
Council truly summoned were sitting, such a Council 
could not decide the question, for neither law nor cus- 
tom has given it a right to elect the Pope or to depose 
him. The Council, like all the rest of the faithful, is 
powerless in such a matter, and nothing is left but 
prayer. There is no power given to any bishop, or 
any number of bishops, that is not given to all the 
faithful alike, to decide who is the true Bishop of 
Rome. The election of the Sovereign Pontiff is, and 
has ever been, intrusted to the Cardinals, and if they 
cannot settle all questions concerning that election, 
there is no human help for it, seeing that nobody has 
been able to find any law or custom by which any 
man, not a cardinal, can interfere therein. 

It is true that the Cardinals once called a General 
Council to be held at Pisa, for the purpose of undoing 
a great evil, which some of them had wantonly caused 
many months after the election of Urban VI. The 
Pope not governing the Church according to the 
opinions of the French Cardinals, was by them re- 
nounced, and opposed by the Bishop of Cambrai, 
whom they set up as antipope to be followed at his 
death by Pedro de Luna. Under the Pontificate 
of Gregory XII, deserted by most of his Cardinals, 
the so-called Council of Pisa assembled, convoked 
by Cardinals who professed themselves capable of 
sitting in judgment upon the Pope and the antipope. 
The result was disastrous in the extreme, for they 
elected in that assembly another person to be called 
Pope, and thus there were at least two antipopes in the 
judgment of all men. * 

Gregory XII. in the end resigned, and Martin V. 
was elected Pope, but after the death of the former. 
In that election the assembly of Constance interfered, 

* Schelstrate, Tract, de Condi. Const, p. xxviii. Suffecto Alexanclro V. 
schisma non extinctum, sed aclauctum fuit, nihilque aliucl patres 
Pisani assecuti sunt, quam ut duobus de Papatu contendentibus tertium 


for it appointed certain representatives of the " na- 
tions " to enter the conclave with the Cardinals, and 
with equal powers, but with the special and ex- 
pressed consent of all the Cardinals. It is certain 
that the Council of Constance was exceeding its 
powers, and it is not clear that the Cardinals, by con- 
-senting, were not infringing the Papal Constitutions 
by which their rights were secured. The decree of 
the Council and the consent of the Cardinals may be 
regarded as superfluous, which they probably were, for 
the provisions for a Papal election were ample and ex- 
press, needing neither correction nor addition, and 
certainly not to be corrected, nor added to, by an 
assembly which had not been sanctioned, as it 
had not been called, by the Sovereign Pon- 
tiff. The Cardinals may have submitted to 
this for the sake of peace ; and as the Pope was 
unanimously chosen by them it mattered little 
that the intruders agreed with them. The election 
was legal, because made by the Cardinals who alone 
have the right to elect, and the suffrages of the 
intruders, if they were given, were simply superfluous, 
and could do no harm. Panormitan, however, 
speaks as if the election had been really the act of 
the Cardinals only, * and that they made it by their 
own authority and that of the Council. If they made 
it by their own authority, that is enough, and the 
authority of the Council is not necessary^ though the 
Cardinals prudently abstained from saying so, lest 
more evils still should have fallen on Christendom. 
In those days some men had persuaded themselves 
that a General Council had the right to elect the 
Pope if the Holy See were made vacant, in their 
sense, by the deposition of the Vicar of Christ. They 
admitted that only the Cardinals could elect the 
Pope if the vacancy followed upon death or resigna- 
tion for the Popes had provided for those cases. 
They considered, as the Popes had never made 
any provision for other vacancies than those 
caused by death and resignation, that the vacancy 

* Cap. Licet, de Elect. Pro evitenda tamen discordia fuit obtentum 
ut concilium pro ilia vice transferret potestatem suam in Collegium 
Cardinal imr. et ita Cardinales elegenmt ex potestate propria et concilii. 


caused by deprivation must be at the disposal of a 
General Council, because there was no law which en- 
abled the cardinals to elect when such a vacancy 
occurred. Those who held this opinion seem not to 
have reflected that, if the Popes had provided for two 
ways only, that there was no third way of making a 
vacancy in the Holy See, and, therefore, that a 
General Council has no power or right to depose the 

Even in the evil days of the assemblies of Pisa, 
Constance, and Basle, it was generally admitted that 
the Pope was not subject to the censure of a Council 
except in the case of heresy. That was the only mat- 
ter which was regarded as a justification for what 
would otherwise have been a most manifest rebellion. 
Some of the canonists of those days seem to have 
been completely under the dominion of that notion 
whenever they touched upon the relations of the Pope 
to a Council. They considered that a Pope who fell 
into heresy became at once subject to a Council, 
but while they said this, they nowhere said that a 
Pope might so fall, though the inference from their lan- 
guage is that they probably thought it possible. 
Those who held this notion admitted that it was not 
universal, and that a contrary opinion was also held 
to the effect that the Pope was above all human tri- 
bunals. Thus Joannes Andreas,* referring to and 
reporting the words of Hostiensis,t who held that for the 
sin of heresy the Pope was subject to an accusation, 
adds, and in the words of Hostiensis himself, that others 
held the contrary, maintaining that there was no power 
vested in any one on earth to try the supreme Pontiff. 
Hostiensis does not say that the Pope can be tried, 
but only that he may be accused ; that is to say, a pro- 
cess might be instituted in some undefined court, the 
object of which is to prove heresy against the Pope. 
He seems to have shrunk back from the full mean- 
ing of his words, though that meaning is inevitable, 

* Cap. Propcsuit dc Concess. Prabenda. Alii tamen, et si imperator et 
totus clerus et totus populus conveniant, ipsum non poterunt judicare. 

t Summa Aurea, de Elect, ct Elect. Potest. n. 18. Item de nullo 
crimine excipi potest contra ipsum, excepta hceresi, de qua accusari 
potest, etiam consecratus. 


for an accusation implies a judge. Guido de Baisio, 
commonly called the Archdeacon, was less cautious, 
for he said that the judge of the Pope was a Coun- 
cil. His disciple, Joannes Andreas, did not repeat 
the daring assertion, for he contented himself with 
repeating the language of Hostiensis, who had 
drawn back from it, admitting that the Pope could 
not be judged by man. His respect for his master, 
probably, withheld him from expressing his own 
opinion, if it really differed from that of the arch- 
deacon. For, in another place, he repeats the opinion 
of his master more fully, but does not say whether 
he adopts it or not as his own.* Panormitan adopts 
the opinion of the Archdeacon,t and maintains with 
him, that a Council can sit in judgment en the Pope 
accused of heresy. Zabarella, adopting the words of 
Hostiensis as his own, adds this : That the Pope may 
be accused of other sins beside heresy, if he con- 
tinues impenitent,! but Zabarella was writing in 
troublous times, and had himself taken the wrong 

The only certain attempt to accuse a Pope of heresy 
was that of Philip le Bel, who laboured hard to com- 
pel Clement V. to sit in judgment on his predecessor, 
Boniface VIII. It is scarcely possible that this memo- 
rable fact can have been unknown to the canonists 
who propounded their theories during the assemblies 
of Basle, and yet they are not able to find anything 
in it serviceable for their purpose. Clement V. was 
sorely pressed, but he never admitted that even 
a dead Pope could be charged with heresy. He 
listened to much abuse of Boniface VIII., and made 
what seemed to be preparations for a legal trial of 
him, though dead, but he never did anything that 

* Vlto Cap. In fidei, de hcereticis. 

f Cap. Proposuit, de Concess. Prcebendce. Sed plus placet hcec opinio 
ut possit ab alio condemnari et deponi in facto fidei, et hanc opinion-em 
expresse tenuit Archidiaconus et dicit .... quod concilium erit 

J Joan, de Imola, cap. Proposuit. Sed doctor Florentinus hie videtur 
tenere contrarium, nam dicit quod idem dicendum est de quolibet 
peccato notorio, in quo Papa persisteret, quod dicitur de hseresi. The 
words of the cardinal are : Sed videtur quod quando persisteret im- 
penitens possit haberi pro male sentiente in fide. 


could be interpreted into an admission that the Pope 
was to be tried for heresy. He left the question un- 
decided ; it was all that he could do in the grievous 
straits to which he had been reduced ; but he did 
that,* and the canonists, who magnified the powers of 
a Council, were, a hundred years later, left free to argue 
as they did. Though Clement V. did not decide this 
question, nor admit, nor deny, the opinion that a Pope 
might be accused of heresy, yet it is very difficult to 
maintain that he did not really disown it at the last ; 
for if he did not, it is scarcely credible that he could 
have borne so patiently and so long the insults of the 
French lawyers, and the importunities of the King 
who employed them. He could have released him- 
self in a moment from his difficulties by consenting to 
the trial. But there is more than this. The Bull, 
announcing the end of the trouble, wherein Clement V. 
gives the history of the proceedings from the com- 
mencement to the close, begins with words which, 
applied to the facts narrated, seem to imply through- 
out that it is not lawful to bring accusations against 
the Sovereign Pontiff, t and Clement V. substantially 
refused to hear those which the lawyers of Philip le 
Bel had so maliciously and laboriously forged. 

Those canonists who wrote so much in favour of 
Councils and of their supremacy, wrote probably 
more under the influence of prejudice, and under the 
dominion of that necessity which partizanship carries 
in its train. Panormitan confessed that he had been 
led astray through his fondness for his nephews, who 
urged him on, and drove him into schism, and 
Francis de Zabarellis, when his own theories were 
presented to him at Constance, embodied in a decree 
of the assembly there, drew back and refused to read 

* Non intend entes tamen denuntiatores et objectores prcedictos, vel 
alterum eorundem, aut demmtiationes vel objectiones, vel aliqua pro- 
posita per eosdem admittere, nisi si prout et in quantum contra summos 
Pontifices vivos vel mortuos admittencli forent, et etiam admittendi 
juxta sanctorum patrum decreta et canonica instituta. Clement V. 
Ad Certitudinem. 

t Jesus Christus Domirms noster, qui peccatum non fecit, nee vere 
potest redargui de peccato, disciplinam instituens et humilitatis exem- 
plum, omnibus autem, specialiter pastoribus, Ejus vicariis in Ecclesia 
Dei futuris, praxlicans populo Judieoram dixit, Quis ex vobis me 
arguet de peccato ? 


it in the public session. Zabarella saw them in 
their true colour when he had to act upon them, and 
Panormitan would not trust himself to die with them. 




Quamvis doctrina Gersonis et Cardinalis de Alliaco caliginem quan- 
dam plurimorum Theolo^orum mentibus in Gallia offuderit : extra 
Galliam autem jam a longo tempore nullus reperitur Theologus qui 
infallibilitatem summorum Pontificum eorumque supra concilia 
auctoritatem non strenue propugnaret. Krisper. de Legg. dist. iv. 
>. i. 

THE chief source of these opinions which prevailed 
among learned men in the fifteenth century was 
the compilation of Canons formed by Gratian. That 
book was found serviceable by the professors of the 
canon law, and they made it too often a text-book, as 
if it had really some weight. It is no doubt well ar- 
ranged, and contains a great mass of matter, but in 
itself, and as the work of Gratian, it has no authority, 
and has always been set aside, unless it could be 
shown that the canons he has quoted are canons which 
the Pope has sanctioned. The contents of the Decrc- 
tum are not necessarily law because Gratian has 
brought them together into one book,* but portions of 
it may be law, because confirmed by the Pope, or be- 
cause they are decrees issued by him. It is neces- 
sary, therefore, to inquire into the authority of each 
canon in Gratian, before it can be urged ; for it may 
be an extract from the letter of a bishop, who, of 
course, had no power to make laws for the Church, or 

* Scot. iv. dist, 6, q, 8. Ergo oportet dicere, quod quodcunque capitu- 
lum incorporatum in corpora Decretorum a Gratiano confirmatum sit a 
Papa, vel multa capitula ibi posita non ligant totam ecclesiam. Unde 
autem possit doceri, quod omnia ilia capitula ibi compilata Papa con- 
firmat, non est manifestum. Nee etiam eo modo quo est manifestum 
de omnibus capitulis positis in Decretalibus. Sanchez, de Mat rim. lib. 
9. disp. 12. sec. 5. Vim canonis minime habent quas in Decreto conti- 
nentur, nisi ex Pontificis aut concilii generalis decreto desumpta sint. 


it may be a decree of a Provincial Council, never con- 
firmed, or even from the writings of an historian, or 
from the laws of the Empire, or the opinion of one of 
the Fathers. 

Among the canons brought together by Gratian are 
two which, accepted without questioning by the canon- 
ists, led men into grievous errors touching the authority 
of the Holy See. They are those cited as Anastasius 
and Si Papa. The first teaches that men may with- 
draw from the communion of the Pope ; and the 
second, that he may be judged of none unless he be 
found to have swerved from the faith : a fide devius. 
The inferences drawn from these two so-called canons 
were often most disloyal and irreverent, and those 
who accepted them came to hold that the Pope might 
actually teach heresy. 

The Canon Si Papa has been the most popular, 
and during the troubles of the fifteenth century, when 
most of the Bishops, at one time or other, rose up 
against the Vicar of Christ, it was far better known 
than the Gospel to a great many eager disputants for 
the rights of Councils. The gloss upon it went much 
further, and, if it could be maintained, is an ample justi- 
fication of the opinion of Zabarella, for it extends the 
power of the Pope's subjects over him, and enables 
them to accuse him of other crimes besides heresy. 
These fictitious canons could do nothing but evil, for 
men grew accustomed to question the Papal rights, 
and to take for granted that our Lord would abandon 
His Vicar and leave him destitute of the special helps 
which He has promised him. 

The gloss when it was pressed as a truth to be 
acted on, was rejected even by those who were in 
revolt against the Pope. It was felt to be at least 
indecent, and then its want of authority was con- 
fessed. The Cardinals who came together in Leghorn 
in 1408, who rejected both the Pope and the antipope, 
and who were going to take upon themselves the office 
of the Pope by indicting what they called a General 
Council, disowned the gloss, and admitted that some 
rejected it. * 

* Martene et Dnrand. Coll. Ampliss. vii. 797. Ilia glossa, simpli- 
cker posita, non est vera, et reprehe&ditur a nonnullis. 


The influence of the gloss, and of the canon which it 
professed to explain, was very great among the 
canonists of the fifteenth century. Perhaps too, a 
mere legal training which makes men seek speculative 
solutions of practical doubts, contributed in no small 
degree to the formation and maintenance of theories 
which really tended to destroy the constitution of the 
Church, and to assimilate her to secular communities, 
corporations, and states, in which the powers of the 
several members are balanced, as men say, by the 
presence of a counteracting or rival authority. The 
assemblies of Pisa, Constance, and Basle, proceeded 
on theories of ecclesiastical law which were not those 
of the Church, and which, if admitted, would have 
changed her constitution and made her a parlia- 
mentary monarchy in which the Pope might reign, 
but in which he could not govern. His decisions 
would have been, questioned in Councils, and probably 
appeals from him would have become frequent and 
customary, and the . doctrines of the Faith would 
have become a philosophy. 

These theories were built on an unsound foundation, 
and it may be charitably, if not reasonably, believed 
that their authors would not have made them known 
if their minds had been visited by any suspicion that 
their conclusive canon was no canon at all. Si Papa 
seems to have been taken by Gratian not from the 
letters of Popes, nor even the decrees of Councils, but 
from a letter attributed to S. Boniface, Archbishop of 
Mayence. The Saxon Bishop, a saint and martyr, was 
not the Pope, and it was not given to him to make 
laws for the whole Church. That canon is the sole 
authority for so strange an opinion, and it is not suffi- 
cient, however venerable, to impose it on the Church. 
With that canon falls the building raised upon it, and 
the elaborate reasoning by which men subjected 
Popes to Councils at the same time is completely 

The other ground, the so-called canon Anastasius, 
is now known to be worthless ; it is an extract from 
the Liber Pontificalis, attributed to the librarian 
Anastasius, who, being the friend of Photius, accepted 
from that evil man whatever information he gave him, 


and handed it down as authentic history, and the facts 
as stated in the canon Anastasius, and as Gratian 
unhappily repeated them, are known to be no facts,* 
but either mistakes, or as some think, more likely, 
deliberate falsehoods, for the purpose of destroying 
the credit of the Sovereign Pontiffs, t 

The Council of Constance attempted to subject the 
Pope to the authority of the Bishops, and did embarrass 
the Holy See most seriously, for the troubles occa- 
sioned by the Council of Basle were the fruits of its 
acts, and the Sovereign Pontiff was delivered from his 
anxieties only after the Council of Florence. The dis- 
order and anarchy which prevailed during the early 
part of the fifteenth century, when the prelates and 
the secular princes undertook to govern the Church 
without the Pope, had their compensation. Great was 
the scandal, and crying the sin, but out of all the evil 
there came forth at last the acknowledgment of the 
Pope's right, and the almost unanimous confession 
of his supremacy. 

One attempt after that of Constance and of Basle was 
made to throw the Church into confusion. Certain 
Cardinals, discontented for some reason or other with 
the Pope, Julius II., and relying on the help of the 
Emperor and the King of France, which was given 
them, took upon themselves to call together a general 
council without the consent, and against the will, of 
the Pope. They proposed to hold their council at 
Pisa, and issued their summons ; but though the secu- 
lar powers were favourable, or indifferent, the Bishops 
throughout the Church were not moved from their 
duty. Some French Bishops and Abbots came to- 
gether, but for some time not one from Germany re- 
spected the illegal convocation. It was an unlawful 

* Falsa esse qusede Anaslasio Pontifice Gratianus commemorat. Co- 
varruvias, Var, Resol. lib. iv. c. 13. 

f Ut enim erat Photio amicissimus, inito arctissimo foedere. . . . 
quemadmodum mutucc Anastasii et Pliotii epistolse testantur, nihil 
antiquius habuit Anastatins in describendis Romanorum antistitum 
gestis, qiiarn Groecorum monumentis uti, illis pnesertim, qua? a Photio 
excipere potuissct. At vero quis ignorat Photium codices ecclesiasticos 
depravasse producendi sui schismatis suseque contentionis gratia, in 
odium prKsertim Pontificum Romanorum, quorum primatum auctori- 
tatemque detestabatur ? Ber.ardi, Graf. Canones. torn. I, p. ii, p. 453. 


assembly, unlawfully assembled, and the measure of its 
folly and its sin was a decree made in its last session 
at Milan it had removed from Pisa to that place by 
which it professed to suspend the Sovereign Pontiff 
from his functions. Having done this it migrated to 
Lyons, and there the Cardinals attempted, but in vain, 
to continue its sessions. 

As soon as men ceased to dispute the supremacy of 
the Pope, the clouds that hid him from the eyes of men 
were scattered. They began to see him, not as the 
judge from whom there is no appeal, though he is 
that ; but as the Father of the faithful and the infallible 
teacher of the Church. His great office shone out 
before the eyes of men, and they fell at his feet, and 
confessed the powers which our Lord had given him. 
When the lawyers had ceased to discuss his authority, 
Theologians came forth, as if the noise and tumult of 
legists had made them hide themselves, and showed 
people how tender and how true was that authority 
which the faithful in general always respected, and 
always maintained to exist. After the troubles of 
Constance were over, and peace brought back by the 
Council of Florence, there was no difficulty in deter- 
mining who were the enemies and who were the chil- 
dren of the Pope. His authority had become so clear, 
and his dignity so unmistakable, that it was no longer 
possible, as it had been before, for faithful Christians 
to dispute his power. The clouds had been scattered, 
the sun had dispersed the mist, and the confession of 
the Supremacy led to the confession of the Infallibility. 
So when the Reformation came, which was nothing else 
but the fruits of Constance and Basle, the men of 
simple hearts and humble spirit listened to the storm, 
but were never troubled ; they knew that the Pope 
was the successor of S. Peter, the Vicar of Christ, the 
"shepherd of all the sheep, and the infallible judge of 
controversies. God in His anger separated the chaff 
from the wheat, and by a terrible storm purified the 
air ; but from that day the Papacy has never been 
misunderstood even by its enemies : they knew it to 
be the Rock, and, in fighting against the Holy See, 
they never could find any excuse such as the mediaeval 
lawyers found for themselves. The supremacy of the 


Holy See needed really no defence, the conscience of 
the faithful, released from the trammels within which 
learned men laboured to confine it, knew the Pope, 
and though sophistry or want of faith may create 
difficulties from time to time, the end of each con- 
troversy is a clearer view of the power of the Pope, 
and a more loving submission to his most blessed rule. 


following is the translation and text of the 
X Letter of the Holy Father to the Archbishop of 
Westminster, in reply to the inquiry of Dr. Gumming, 
a Scotch Presbyterian Minister, as to whether he could 
be heard at the Council : 



Venerable Brother, Health and the Apostolic Bles- 
sing. We have seen from the newspapers that Dr. 
Gumming, of Scotland, has inquired of you whether 
leave will be given at the approaching Council to 
those who dissent from the Catholic Church, to put 
forward the arguments which they think can be 
advanced in support of their own opinions ; and that, 
on your replying that this is a matter to be determined 
by the Holy See, he has written to Us upon the 

Now, if the inquirer knows what is the belief of 
Catholics with respect to the teaching authority which 



Venerabilis Frater, salutem et Apostolicam Benedictionem. Per 
ephemerides accepimus Doctorem Cumming Scotum qusesivisse a 
te, num in future Concilio dissidentibus facienda sit potestas ea pro- 
ferendi argumenta quse suce opinioni suffragari arbitrentur ; te autem 
respondente id a Nobis esse decernendmn, ipsum hac de re ad Nos 
scripsisse. Verum si postulantem non latet Catholicorum fides de 


has been given by our Divine Saviour to His Church, 
and therefore with respect to its infallibility in decid- 
ing questions which belong to dogma or to morals, he 
must know that the Church cannot permit errors 
which it has carefully considered, judged and con- 
demned, to be again brought under discussion. This, 
too, is what has already been made known by Our 
Letters. [Letters, Apostolic of Sept. 13, 1868, 
addressed " to all Protestants and other non-Catho- 
lics."] For, when we said, "it cannot be denied or 
doubted that Jesus Christ Himself, in order that Hef 
might apply to all generations of men the fruits o 
His redemption, built here on earth upon Peter His only 
Church, that is, the one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic 
Church, and gave to him all power that was necessary 
for preserving whole and inviolate the deposit of faith, 
and for delivering the same faith to all peoples, and 
tribes, and nations," We thereby signified that the 
primacy both of honour and of jurisdiction, which was 
conferred upon Peter and his successors by the Founder 
of the Church, is placed beyond the hazard of disputa- 
tion. This, indeed, is the hinge upon which the whole 
question between Catholics and all who dissent from 
them turns ; and from this dissent, as from a fountain, 
all the errors of non-Catholics flow, " For, inasmuch as 
such bodies of men are destitute of that living and 
divinely established authority t which teaches mankind 
especially the things of faith and the rule of morals, 
and which also directs and governs them in whatever 

magisterio a Divino Servatore nostro commisso Ecclesise suse, et de 
hujus infallibilitate propterea in denniendis qusestionibus de dogmateet 
moribus, dubitare nequibit quin Ecclesia ipsa, pali non debeat revocari 
rursum in disceptationem errores quos sedulo cxpendit, judicavit et 
damnavit. Nee aliud ei suadere possunt literce Nostrse. Dum enim 
diximus " nemo inficiari ac dubitare potesl ipsum Christum Jesuni, ut 
humanis omnibus generationibus redemptionis suse fructus applicant, 
siiani hie in terris supra Pet nun unicam cedificasse Ecclesiain, id est 
unam, sanctam, Catholicam, Apostolicam, eiqne necessariam omnem con- 
tulisse potestatem, utintenun inviolatumqiie custodiretur field deposilttt/i, 
ac eadem fides omnibus populis, gentibus, nationibus, traderetur ;" hoc 
ipso diximus extra dispittationis alcain constitutum esse primatum, non 
honoris tantum sed et juridictionis Petro ejusque successoribus ab 
Ecclesise institutore collatum. Atqui in. hoc nimirum cardine tota 
quaestio versatur inter Catholicos et dissentientes quoscumque ; et ex 
hoc dissensu. veluti e fonte omnes acatholicorum errores dimanavit. 
' ' Ciun enim ejusmodi societates careant viva ilia et a Deo constitiila aiic- 
toritate, quse homines res fidei morumque disciplinam prresertim docet, 


relates to eternal salvation, so these same bodies of men 
have ever varied in their teaching,, and their change 
and instability never cease." If, therefore, your in- 
quirer will consider, either the opinion which is held 
by the Church as to the infallibility of its judgment in 
defining whatever belongs to faith or morals, or what 
We ourselves have written respecting the Primacy and 
teaching authority of Peter, he will at once perceive 
that no room can be given at the Council for the de- 
fence of errors which have already been condemned ; 
and that we could not have invited non-Catholics to a 
discussion, but have only urged them " to avail them- 
selves of the opportunity afforded by this Council, in 
which the Catholic Churcn, to which their forefathers 
belonged, gives a new proof of its close unity and 
invincible vitality, and to satisfy the wants of their 
souls by withdrawing from a state in which they can- 
not be sure of their salvation." If, by the inspiration 
of divine grace, they shall perceive their own danger, 
and shall seek God with their whole heart, they will 
easily cast away all preconceived and adverse opinions; 
and, laying aside all desire of disputation, they will 
return to the Father from whom they have long un- 
happily gone astray. We, on our part, will joyfully 
run to meet them ; and embracing them with a 
father's charity, we shall rejoice, and the Church will 
rejoice with us, that our children who were dead have 
come to life again, and that they who were lost have 

casque dirigit ac moderator in iis omnibus quse ad seternam salutem 
pertinent, turn societates ipscc in SKIS doctrinis. conlinentcr variarunt, et 
hsec mobihtas atque instability apud easdem societates nunquam cessat." 
Sive ergo qui te interrogavit sententiam consideret quam de infallibili- 
tate judicii sui in definitione rerum spectantium fidem et mores tenet 
Eeclesia, sive quse Nos de non revocando in dubium Petri primatu et 
magisterio scripsimus, intelliget illico nulli damnatorum errorum patro- 
cinio locum esse posse in Concilii ; nee Nos acatholicos invitare potuisse 
ad disceptandum, sed dumtaxat ut " occasionem amplectantur hujus 
.Concilii quo Eeclesia Catbolica, cui eorum majores adscript! erant, 
novum intimae unitatis et inexpugnabilis vitalis sui roboris exhibit 
argumentum ; ac indigentiis eorum cordis respor.dentes, ab eo statu se 
eripere studeant in quo de sua propria salute securi esse non possunt. " 
Si ipsi, divina gratia afflante, proprium discrimen percipiant, si tolo 
co rd e Deum quaerant, facile abjicient pneconceptam quamvis adversam 
opinionem ; et omni statim disceptandi cupidine deposita, redibunt ad 
Patrem a quo jamdiu infeliciter discesscrunt. Nos autem la^ti occurre- 
mus ipsis eosque paterna caritate complexi gaudebimus, Ecclesiam uni- 
versam gratulari Nobis, quod filii nostri qui mortui erant revixerint, et 


been found. This indeed we earnestly ask of God ; 
and do you, Venerable Brother, join your prayers to 
ours. In the meanwhile, as a token of the Divine 
favour, and of Our own special benevolence, We most 
lovingly give to you and to your diocese our Apostolic 
blessing. Given at St. Peter's, in Rome, this 4th day 
of September, 1869, in the 24th year of our Pontificate. 







Venerable Brother, Health and the Apostolic Bles- 
sing. Having said in the letter which We addressed 
to you, Venerable Brother, on the fourth day of 
September last, that subjects which had already been 
carefully examined and decided by an CEcumenical 
Council could not again be called in question, that 
therefore no place could be given in the approaching 
Council for any defence of errors which had been 
condemned, and that for this reason we could not 

qui perierant sint inventi. Id certe a Deo poscimus enixe ; et tu, 
Venerabilis Frater, preces tuas junge nostris. Interim vero, Divini 
favoris auspicem et praecipuse nostrae benevolentiae pignus, Apostolicam 
Benedictionem tibi totique Dioecesi iuse peramanter impertimus. Datum 
Romas apud S. Petrum, die 4 septembris, 1869. Pontificatus Nostri 
Anno XXIV. Pius PP. IX. 



Venerabilis Frater, salutem et Apostolicam Benedictionem. Cum 
in litteris ad te, Venerabilis Frater, datis die 4 prseteriti Septembris 
dixerimus, revocanda non esse in dubium quse ab QEcumenico Concilio 
jam expensa fuerunt et judicata, nulliqne propterea damnatorum errorum 
patrocinio locum esse posse in novo Concilio, Nosque idcirco < 


have invited non-Catholics to a discussion, we now 
learn that some of those who dissent from our faith 
have so understood those words as to believe that no 
way is left open to them of making known the diffi- 
culties which keep them separated from the Catholic 
Church, and that almost all approach to us is cut off. 
But so far are We, the Vicar upon earth, although un- 
worthily, of Him who came to save that which was 
lost, from repelling them in any way whatever, that 
We even go forth to meet them, and nothing do We 
seek for with a more ardent wish than to be able to 
stretch out Our arms with a father's love to any one 
who shall return to Us. And never, certainly, have 
We wished to impose silence upon those who, misled 
by their education, and believing their opinions to be 
right, think that their dissent from Us rests upon 
strong arguments which they would wish to be exa- 
mined by wise and prudent men. For although this 
cannot be done in the Council, there will want- 
ing learned divines, appointed by ourselves, to whom 
they may open their minds, and may with confidence 
make known the reasons of their own belief; so that 
even out of the contest of a discussion, undertaken 
solely with a desire of finding out the truth, they may 
receive a more abundant light to guide them to it. 
And may very many propose this to themselves, and . 
carry it out in good faith ! For it could not be done 
without great profit to themselves and to others ; to 

acatholicos invitare ad disceptandum, discimus aliquot e dissentientibus 
sic ea verba intellexisse ut omnem sibi pneclusam existimarent viam ad 
exponendas difficultates quibus detinentur ne ad catholicas partes acce- 
dant, interceptumque sibi ferine conserent ad Nos aditum. Adeo vero 
Nos, qui, licet immerentes, Illius vices gerimus in terris qui venit 
salvum facere quod perierat, absumus ab iis quoquo modo repel- 
lendis, ut imo occurrarnus ipsis, nihilque votis incensioribus expe- 
tamus quam ut revertenti cuilibet paterno affectu brachia protendere 
possimus. Nee unquam certe silentium illis indicere voluimus qui, prava 
instilutione decepti, putantesque se recte sentire, dissensum suum a Nobis 
validis initi argumentis arbitrentur, quse propterea a sapientibus pruden- 
tibusque serio expend! desiderent. Licet enim id fieri nequeat in Con- 
cilio, viri tamen divinarum rerum periti a Nobis designandi ipsis non 
deerunt, quibus mentem suam aperire possint omniaque rationum mo- 
menta sententiee sure fidenter exponere, ut, ex ipso disceptationis, solo 
veritatis assequendae studio institute;, conflictu, uberiori luce perfundi 
valeant qua ad illam perducantur. Utinam id plurimi sibi proponant 
bonaque fide exequantur : cum id contingere nequeat sine magno 



themselves, indeed, because God will show His face to 
those that seek Him with their whole heart, and will 
give them what they long for : to others, because not 
only the example of eminent men cannot fail of its 
efficacy, but also the more diligently they shall 
have laboured to obtain the benefit of truth the 
more earnestly will they strive to impart the same 
benefit to the rest. Earnestly praying the God of 
Mercy for this most happy issue, we desire you to 
receive, Venerable Brother, the Apostolic Blessing 
which, as a token of the Divine favour and of our own 
especial goodwill, We most lovingly grant to you and 
to your whole diocese. Given at St. Peter's, in Rome, 
on the 30th day of October, 1869, in the 24th year of 
Our Pontificate. PlUS PP. IX. 

ipsorum ceterorumque proventu. Ipsorum quidem, quia Deus requiren- 
tibus se toto corde faciem suam ostendet, iisdemque praestabit quod 
cupiunt. Aliorum vero, turn quia praestantium virorum exempium 
efficacia sua carere non poterit, turn etiam quia isti quo majore dili- 
gentia et labore veritatis beneficium sibi compararunt eo impensiore 
studio, beneficium idem ad ceteros porrigere nitentur. Dum autem 
faustissimum hunc successum a divina dementia poscimus enixe, excipe, 
Venerabilis Frater, Apostolicam Benedictionem, quam superni favoris 
auspicem et praecipuae Nostrae benevolentise pignus tibi totique dicecesi 
tuae peramanter impertimus. Datum Romae, apud S. Petrum, die 30 
Octobris, 1869, Pontificatus Nostri anno XXIV. 

Pius PP. IX. 


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